NEWS: Initiative to partner WCRS on BMW

By CLAIRE BEALE, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 31 May 1996 12:00AM

WCRS has made a dramatic bid to win the centralised media business of Rover and BMW by teaming up with Initiative Media to compete for the pounds 65 million account.

WCRS has made a dramatic bid to win the centralised media business of

Rover and BMW by teaming up with Initiative Media to compete for the

pounds 65 million account.



WCRS, which already handles the pounds 10 million BMW media business,

had been lined up against Rover’s agency, Zenith Media, to pitch for the

centralised account (Campaign, 19 April).



Although Initiative handles the Rover business across Europe, the UK

pitch had been restricted to the two local roster agencies.



However, WCRS is thought to have decided that its best chance of winning

the business against the UK’s biggest-spending media shop is to tap into

the greater resource of Initiative. The shop is the UK’s fifth-largest

media company, with billings of pounds 254 million last year. Zenith

bills more than pounds 600 million, while WCRS spends pounds 80 million.



The deal with Initiative is thought to be based on more than just a

simple arrangement, whereby Initiative would handle the media buying

should the consortium win the business.



Initiative has positioned itself as a client-focused media operation,

launching an innovations centre to handle media solutions such as

programme development and advertorials, which WCRS is keen to draw on.



WCRS also wants to quell speculation that it could not compete with

Zenith in the TV buying arena. Initiative’s media clout would help

answer such questions.



The strategic media planning for both the Rover and BMW brands will

remain with the creative agencies and is not part of the media pitch.



An Initiative tie-up is also attractive because Initiative’s chief

executive, Phil Georgiadis, a former vice-chairman of WCRS, knows the

agency’s style and has worked on the BMW business.


Neither Georgiadis nor Marc Mendoza, WCRS’s media director, were

available for comment.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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