Carat beats MediaVest to 30m Alliance & Leicester

Alliance & Leicester has appointed Carat to handle its consolidated 30m media planning and buying account after a final pitch against MediaVest Manchester.

Alliance & Leicester has appointed Carat to handle its consolidated 30m media planning and buying account after a final pitch against MediaVest Manchester.

Carat previously handled only the press buying for the bank brand, with MediaVest handling all of the planning business, television buying, direct marketing and inserts, but this will move to the Aegis-owned agency from January 1. Specialist search agency Latitude has also lost its online business.

The pitch, which was overseen by head of marketing communications Lesley Vernon, was called in July with a view to consolidating the business. It is understood that non-roster agencies were invited to pitch, although it is not clear if any made it to the shortlist alongside Carat and MediaVest (MW last week).

The appointment is thought to mark the first time that Alliance & Leicester (A&L) has handed all of its media business to one agency.

MediaVest Manchester won the business in 2002 after pitching against the incumbents AMS and Tri-Direct, as well as ZenithOptimedia and Walker Media. Latitude had worked with A&L for six years.

A&L handles 20.6bn-worth of customer accounts, with 1.5 million current account holders. Its creative account is split between McCann Erickson and Leicester-based Big Communications and is not affected by the review.

A&L spends 14m a year on advertising, according to Nielsen Media. The remainder of its 30m budget is spent on promotional activity, such as inserts, and online search activity.

A spokeswoman for the bank says the appointment of a single agency will help it gain a more “holistic” view of its marketing communications and get better value.

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