Express Newspapers has moved its &£10 media planning and buying account out of WPP Group-owned MindShare and into sister agency MediaCom. The move leaves MindShare free to pitch for News International’s &£15m media account without any client conflict.
It is understood that a brief for the News Group Newspapers pitch is due to be sent out in the next three weeks. The pitch, which is being overseen by the AAR, had been put on hold following the sudden departure of News Group Newspapers general manager Richard Webb, but it will recommence in coming weeks (MW August 18). The account is held by Carat.
MindShare won the planning and buying business for the Northern & Shell-owned newspapers in January, snatching the account from OMD UK. Joint group managing director Stan Myerson personally appointed MindShare to handle the business.
Myerson says: “The switch in agencies has been made at the highest levels of WPP and Northern & Shell and we are perfectly happy with it.”
The news follows a turbulent year at Northern & Shell, which has seen a number of unexpected departures, including news group marketing director Tim Pemberton, who left the company in April after just two months in the role. Its three most senior advertising executives, head of classified advertising Jeremy Slattery and advertising controllers for the Daily and Sunday Express, Karen Newton and Gary Savage, have also left the company this year (MW April 14).