PHD bows to pressure from Yell and drops £30m BT business…

PHD has resigned BT’s £30m media planning account after coming under pressure from rival client Yell. The directories company is known to see BT as a conflict.

PHD has resigned BT’s &£30m media planning account after coming under pressure from rival client Yell. The directories company is known to see BT as a conflict.

The agency attempted to resolve the issue earlier in the year by shifting the strategic planning account, which it has held for a decade, into Omnicom sister agency Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO. But it is believed that Yell did not think there was enough separation between the accounts.

PHD’s grasp on BT’s media planning has been steadily eroded over the past few years, as the implementation of the strategy has been gradually moved into its buying agencies, Starcom and Zed Media. PHD is not expected to make any redundancies following the decision.

A BT spokesman says: “We will be parting company with PHD in September. We haven’t made any decision about who is going to be doing our strategic planning work going forward. We will be reviewing our options.

In April, AMV.BBDO resigned the &£20m Yell advertising account in a bid to keep BT’s creative work. Yell called a competitive pitch and is now in the final stages of a review. Mother and Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest are the final two agencies.

The marketing department at the telecoms giant has recently been restructured, with group marketing and brand director Tim Evans shifted to the role of chief customer officer (MW June 29).

He was appointed to the lead marketing role in 2003, having previously held roles including marketing director for BT Retail’s consumer division and head of its small- to medium-enterprise business.

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