Express Newspapers is reviewing the creative accounts for its three titles – The Express, The Express on Sunday and the Daily Star – which are worth a total of 5.7m.
The group has invited four agencies to make presentations, but incumbent Leo Burnett has refused to take part. Stephen Whyte, managing director of Leo Burnett, says: “At the end of last week the Express called a review and asked us to take part with four agencies. We declined and have resigned the business.”
Paul Woolfenden, commercial director at Express Newspapers, moved the Express account out of Lowe Howard-Spink and into Burnett without a pitch shortly after joining the group as marketing director in April.
At the time, Burnett had worked for the group for 16 years. It has handled the Daily Star since 1988. Before that it was the agency of record for the Express on Sunday.
A revamp for the Star in June failed to reverse the tabloid’s long-term circulation decline (MW May 28). According to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, the Star’s average net circulation for the period May to October stood at 566,305, down 11.46 per cent year on year.
Express Newspapers axed 46 editorial posts on the Star in October, affecting 29 permanent members of staff. The Express has also been losing readers, with an average net circulation of 1,134,719 – down 7.25 per cent year on year.