PHD North poised to take 8m Otto from MediaVest

Otto, the mail-order giant, is understood to be poised to appoint PHD North to its 8m media planning and buying business. The agency is understood to be in final discussions with the German company.

The review was called two months ago and it is thought that incumbent MediaVest Manchester was involved in the process. It is not known if other agencies took part.

PHD declined to confirm the appointment and no one at Otto was available for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

Otto owns a number of catalogue brands including Freemans, Grattan and Kaleidoscope. It recently restructured its marketing operations and hired Colin Webb, the former Boots and Norwich Union marketing chief, as commercial director of the UK group (MW July 6).

Webb’s role is a new position at the company and was created by Otto UK chief executive Mike Hancox, who was poached from rival Littlewoods last year. The changes are part of a strategy to revitalise the UK division.

PHD North was also recently appointed by health company Novogen to launch its Menopause Test Kit. A campaign will break later this autumn and it is expected to include TV and press. Further activity is planned for next year.

Meanwhile, PHD’s main agency in London is understood to have won the 18m media planning and buying for Warner Music UK.

The agency is thought to be in the final stages of hammering out a contract following a pitch against incumbent Media Campaign, as well as MindShare and Zenith-Optimedia.

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