Yell is looking for an agency to handle its &£6m below-the-line account on a permanent basis. Chief marketing officer Ann Francke, who was appointed earlier this year, is overseeing the search.
The directories publisher, whose brands include Yellow Pages and Yell.com, has invited WWAV Rapp Collins and Proximity London to participate in a “winner-takes-all” pitch.
Yell has worked with about 15 direct marketing agencies, including Chemistry, Proximity, RMG:Black Cat and WWAV, in the past, but wants to “consolidate” its below-the-line activity into one agency.
The publisher’s creative and online accounts, held by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and i-level respectively, are not affected by the review.
A Yell spokesman says the move is part of a strategic review of the company’s marketing services arrangements, which began last month when Yell switched its &£4m television buying business from The Allmond Partnership (TAP) to PHD (MW September 2).
At the time of the move from TAP to PHD, Yell denied suggestions that the review was triggered by a conflict of interests caused by TAP’s relationship with BT. BT recently relaunched The Phone Book, which now carries a classified section, making it a direct competitor to Yellow Pages.
TAP and Drum PHD between them negotiated the deal which saw Yellow Pages sponsor ITV1 series The Block. The programme was moved from its prime-time slot because of poor viewing figures.