Zenith picks up £29m UIP task

Film distributor United International Pictures (UIP) has appointed Zenith Optimedia to handle its £29.3m planning and buying account. The agency pitched against Mediacom and incumbent Media-edge:CIA.

The pitch was conducted by UIP’s marketing team, led by director of marketing Deborah Sheppard. It last called a review in early 2001, only to abandon it and retain its existing agency.

The loss of the account for Media-edge:CIA follows the departure of the agency’s managing director James Whitmore, who was ousted this summer (MW July 24). Whitmore was replaced by Matt James, a former managing director of Manning Gottlieb Media.

UIP distributes films for Hollywood studios Universal, Paramount, Dreamworks and Working Title and will release about 35 movies this year. It has just released Love Actually, directed by Richard Curtis and starring Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson.

UIP has not been the only film distributor to have called a media review this year. Pathé moved its £6m UK media planning and buying account into BLM Media (MW September 4). Carat had been the incumbent on the business.

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