Saga calls review of £34m combined media account

Saga Group is reviewing its media planning and buying account – estimated to be worth £34m this year – which is held by Mediaedge:CIA.

The company started talks with agencies last week, throwing Mediaedge:CIA’s 13-year relationship with Saga into doubt for the second time in three years.

In 2002, Saga conducted an extremely lengthy review, deciding after nine months to retain Mediaedge:CIA, having seen pitches from several agencies including Manning Gottlieb OMD and Carat.

Last year, the company spent only £7.25m on advertising: £3.8m on financial services, £3.2m on holidays and £250,000 on its radio station. Its portfolio includes a customer magazine with a circulation of 1.1 million, online services, household services and insurance products. The current media review will cover the entire business.

The group’s two divisions, Saga Holidays and Saga Services, each have their own marketing teams. Four years ago, Saga Holidays hired Doner Cardwell Hawkins to rejuvenate the brand. Saatchi & Saatchi is the advertising agency of record for Saga’s financial services. It is thought the creative agencies are not affected by the review.

Last October, the company went through a £1.35bn management buy-out, backed by private equity group Charterhouse.

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