Five agencies chasing after ITV’s increased marketing spend of 6m for next year. The broadcaster has also created a marketing role which it has yet to fill.
Incumbent Grey has been joined by Lowe Howard-Spink, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather.
Some of the agencies other than Grey have experience of broadcaster advertising. Lowe handles Carlton while BBH has just lost the account for BSkyB.
Grey is still handling ITV’s business. Work promoting special episodes of The Bill is running at the moment and Grey will be promoting the launch of the Beatles documentary series in November.
ITV sources maintain the pitches will be based less on creative excellence than on the formation of a “complete communication plan for the next two years”.
The different sales houses that make up the ITV Marketing Forum were known to be at odds over the best way to organise the pitches, with Laser and TSMS opposed to seeing ten agencies in eight weeks, as Carlton Sales’ managing director Martin Bowley proposed at the launch of the ITV 1996 programme schedule last week.
ITV is also known to be looking for someone to take on a marketing co-ordination role at the Network Centre. It is expected to be a relatively junior figure responsible to the Marketing Forum.