Guardian Media Group Radio has handed the advertising for Century FM and the recently acquired Saga Radio stations to Manchester-based agency Clear Marketing Communications.
It is understood the media company held talks with a number of agencies although it is not clear if there was a formal pitch. Clear already handles the advertising for GMG’s Smooth and Real Radio brands.
The radio group has briefed the agency to create a new national brand for Smooth Radio, which will include the existing Smooth FM stations in London and the North-west and the rebranded Saga stations.
Earlier this year, GMG applied to media regulator Ofcom to be allowed to change the format of its London station to include music likely to appeal to an older age range, and the new advertising is expected to reflect the changes.
Clear Marketing will also work on campaigns for Real Radio and Century FM brands. The appointment does not include Scottish station 96.3 Rock Radio, which works with The Bridge.
According to figures from Nielsen Media Research, £1.4m was spent on advertising Smooth in the year to the end of June 2006, with another £700,000 on Century and £500,000 on Real.
GMG Radio has 11 stations across London, Wales, Scotland, Yorkshire, East and West Midlands and the North-east and West of England, which the group claims gives it the largest regional footprint in the UK. It also operates internet radio site jazzfm.com.