BSkyB is poised to appoint WCRS to it £75m advertising account after WPP Group’s Team Sky was knocked out of the pitch on Monday evening.
The agency is in final negotiations with the satellite broadcaster and the appointment is expected to be confirmed in the next few days.
Insiders say that the broadcaster was impressed with the ideas presented by both agencies but had doubts about the “depth” of Team Sky’s experience and its ability to execute the campaign.
The two agencies pitched head on for the business after Sky’s relationship with WPP-owned United London, previously HHCL/Red Cell, broke down in October.
WPP proposed the Team Sky solution, but the broadcaster approached WCRS after it failed to win a place on the £20m BBC account. Clemmow Hornby Inge has also been linked with Sky but talks were scrapped at an early stage because of the agency’s relationship with Carphone Warehouse.
A Sky source confirms that WCRS is in final talks but adds that its decision does not affect the company’s relationship with WPP-owned MediaCom, which will continue to handle its media planning and buying account.
Sky group director of communications Matthew Anderson has overseen the latter part of the pitch with brand marketing director Charles Ponsonby, following the resignation of chief marketing officer Jon Florsheim earlier this month. Florsheim will leave Sky early next year to become chief executive of Homeserve, the home maintenance service, as revealed by marketingweek.co.uk.
v WCRS faces a fight for its Prudential account after the group called a review of its Prudential and Egg brands, worth £27m. Egg’s above-the-line business is held by Mother. The financial services group has also launched a pitch for its below-the-line account.