Wieden & Kennedy is tipped to win the &£5m advertising business for the The Guardian after a two-way contest against start-up agency The Red Brick Road. Incumbent DDB London declined to repitch for the business.
The review, which was called in March, followed the departure of DDB chief executive Paul Hammersley and chief strategic officer David Hackworthy to The Red Brick Road. It is understood that both Hammersley and Hackworthy were close to the newspaper account, which fuelled speculation that the new agency would win the business. The Guardian and Wieden & Kennedy deny that any decision has been made.
The pitch, overseen by Guardian Newspapers Ltd (GNL) marketing director Marc Sands, also included Fallon, which was knocked out at an earlier stage, and Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest (VCCP), which was forced to withdraw in June because of a conflict with future planned launches from its client Metro, owned by Associated Newspapers.
Separately, GNL is still to replace its former chief executive Carolyn McCall, who took over from Sir Robert Phillis as chief executive of the Guardian Media Group (GMG) when he retired in July.
Commercial director Stuart Taylor is tipped as favourite for the job although circulation director Joe Clark and operations director Derek Gannon, who are both GNL board members, have expressed interest in the job.
The Guardian recorded a year-on-year rise in sales in last month’s circulation figures. The newspaper sold an average of 370,612 copies in July, up 3.4% from 358,345 issues sold a year ago, but down 2.5% on a month-by-month basis.