AA calls media pitch as it mulls budget cuts

The AA is planning to review its creative account and has called a pitch for its £15 million media planning and buying business.

Manning Gottlieb OMD, the media incumbent for two years, has been asked to repitch against three other top-ten media agencies.

M&C Saatchi is the incumbent on the above-the-line creative account but jeopardised its tenure when it pitched for the rival insurance brand Direct Line's business earlier this autumn. HHCL/Red Cell, the agency behind the AA's previous "Fourth Emergency Service" positioning, is expected to be included in the pitch.

Over the past two years, the AA has significantly reduced its above-the-line spend to divert money into below the line. Rapier handles the bulk of the account.

The reviews follow the acquisition of the AA by the venture capitalists CVC Partners and Permira from Centrica for £1.75 billion in July.

The new owners plan to cut about 10 per cent of the AA's workforce.

The AA's membership flourished under Centrica, increasing from 9.5 million in 1999 to more than 15 million in 2003.

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