CHI & Partners has picked up Carphone Warehouse’s £45m pan-European media planning and buying account without a pitch.
CHI, which already handles the telecoms company’s advertising business, launched a media unit last year after WPP Group bought a 49.9% stake in the agency.
Carphone’s media planning and buying has until now been handled by Matters Media. The agency’s managing director, Mike Hellens, will join CHI as a partner to co-ordinate its relationship with WPP’s MindShare via Group M, which will handle buying for the new venture.
Carphone spends about £30m on UK media and another £15m in other parts of Europe.
CHI’s media offering will be run by Tim Allnutt and Enyi Nwosu and aims to offer clients a “one-stop shop”. It will operate on a fee-only basis, rather than the usual media agency commission model.
Marketing Week revealed at the end of last year that CHI is looking to snatch Virgin Money’s £23m media planning and buying account from Manning Gottlieb OMD if the company’s proposed takeover of Northern Rock is successful (MW December 6, 2007). CHI picked up its first piece of media business from Tiger Beer in December.
Carphone is expected to announce solid quarterly results at the end of this week. The group’s third-quarter trading update on Friday is set to meet expectations with 15% year-on-year growth in mobile phone connections. Carphone’s broadband service is also thought to be on track with more than 100,000 net additions in the quarter.