BT is tipped to appoint Mediaedge:cia to handle its £65m media-buying account, following a two-month review. The move would consolidate BT’s entire media planning and buying business into the WPP agency.
Mediaedge is understood to have beaten broadcast and press buying incumbent Starcom and Zed Media, which handles digital buying, to win the business. Walker Media and Vizeum are thought to have been eliminated at an earlier stage.
In a process other agencies claim was procurement-led, Mediaedge is understood to have offered the most competitive rates. The final appointment is not expected to be confirmed until later this week at the earliest.
BT called the review in October, weeks after appointing Mediaedge to its media-planning account, which had been handled in house following its split with PHD.
Starcom has worked on BT’s press buying for five years. Two years ago, it picked up the company’s TV buying account from The Allmond Partnership.
Zed Media was appointed to handle BT’s £15m digital business in 2005 after i-Level resigned the account to handle Orange.
Starcom missed out on picking up the planning account after it was resigned by PHD in the summer of last year over a conflict with Yell. BT then recruited PHD executives Stuart Bowden and Allison Grainger to run the account in house (MW December 14, 2006), before deciding it wanted an external agency earlier this year.
Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO handles BT’s £40m consumer advertising business, while RKCR/Y&R handles the £17m business-to-business account.
BT and Mediaedge denied a decision has been made as Marketing Week went to press.