The AA and Saga are poised to appoint Phd to handle the two brands’ £30m consolidated media planning and buying account following a review against fellow incumbent Carat.
Parent company Acromis Holdings is understood to be in final negotiations with the Omnicom-owned agency, with a formal announcement expected early next week.
Phd has handled the AA’s £20m planning and buying business since 2005, the same year Carat was appointed to work on the Saga business.
It is not thought the appointment will affect the £22m online search business, which was consolidated into Carat in January this year from i-level. The two accounts are believed to be handled by different departments and online search was not part of the consolidation review called in March.
It is understood the review has been procurement-led, and the brief is focused on direct response work. Saga spends a majority of its budget supporting its range of holiday and insurance products aimed at the over-50s through direct marketing, while the bulk of the AA’s spend has previously been above-the-line.
In April, the AA pooled its advertising and below-the-line accounts, held by Delaney Lund Knox Warren and Rapier, into direct shop Maher Bird Associates, sparking suggestions that the AA will become less brand-focused.