Total announces £40m review of European advertising business

Total, the French oil company, is reviewing its pan-European advertising account, which is estimated to be worth &£40m.

The business is held by the BBDO network in Europe, but Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy (MCBD) handles the advertising in the UK because of a conflict with Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO’s Sainsbury’s account, which includes the supermarket giant’s petrol stations.

Paris-based CLM/BBDO was appointed as the lead agency when BBDO won the business in 2001. MCBD’s slice of the account is worth about &£4m and the agency works alongside CLM to develop the UK campaigns.

The incumbent is repitching, but it is understood MCBD would only keep the business if BBDO retains the account. Total is believed to be talking to at least five agencies, which are understood to include TBWA and Publicis.

Total Retail marketing manager Stephanie Lumley confirms the review is taking place and says the company is “making sure it is getting the best possible service”.

BBDO won the Total account, then known as TotalFina Elf, following a five-way pitch against Euro RSCG, Grey Worldwide, TBWA and French agency Devarrieuxvillaret.

The UK account was reportedly given to MCBD on the recommendation of AMV chairman Michael Baulk just two years after the four founders of MCBD quit AMV to form their own agency.

The advertising review does not affect Carat, which handles Total’s media planning and buying, and Euro RSCG KLP, which was appointed to handle the below-the-line account earlier this year following the demise of incumbent Boy Meets Girl.

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