BT has consolidated its £65m media planning and buying account into Publicis Group following a three-month review. A combined Starcom and Zed Media team, which will be based at BT’s headquarters, has been established to service the account.
The news comes as a shock because WPP-owned Mediaedge:cia, the incumbent on the planning business, was tipped to win the consolidated account. It means that Starcom has retained BT’s media buying business and added media planning duties. Zed, part of the ZenithOptimedia Group, retains online buying.
BT called the review in October last year, weeks after appointing Mediaedge to handle media planning. The planning business had previously been handled by an in-house team following BT’s split with PHD.
The Publicis Groupe “communication, planning and management team” will work with BT’s in-house media team, led by Steve Huddleston. He says: “This integrated BT Group unit is designed to future-proof BT as our influence within the media sector develops, and this was a critical element in our decision making.”