AMV and New PHD enjoy BT bonanza

BT has given a massive vote of confidence to the Abbott Mead Vickers group by handing it two prestigious pieces of business in the same week.

BT has given a massive vote of confidence to the Abbott Mead

Vickers group by handing it two prestigious pieces of business in the

same week.

The group’s main agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, has beaten the odds

to capture a pounds 15 million business and consumer press campaign,

while its media agency, New PHD, has triumphed in a separate pitch to

handle media strategy across the pounds 100 million-plus business of

Britain’s biggest advertiser.

BT’s decision on the creative account is a surprise because AMV was

thought to have only an outside chance of adding to its already huge

slice of the corporation’s adspend after BT signalled that it wanted to

look beyond its two lead roster shops, AMV and Partners BDDH, when it

called the pitch (Campaign, 6 February).

But a combined pitch team made up of the agency and Craik Jones Watson

Mitchell Voelkel, the direct marketing agency which joined the group six

months ago, won the day. Craik Jones has extensive experience of the

telecoms market through its work for Cable & Wireless.

Sholto Douglas-Home, BT’s head of advertising, said: ’We will have a

unified team which will straddle the two agencies.’

AMV beat M&C Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters to the

assignment. Michael Baulk, AMV’s chief executive, said: ’I’m aware there

has been speculation that we had to come from behind to win. But we were

assured by BT that it was a level playing field and that’s the way it

turned out.’

New PHD picked up the strategic media account following a five-way pitch

against Zenith Media, MediaCom, Manning Gottlieb Media and Unity. The

agency will work across all of BT’s business, which was backed by a

pounds 131.5 million spend in 1997, according to AC Niel-sen-MEAL.

However, Unity will also work with BT on a project basis.

The win is a boost for New PHD’s planning credentials, which were dented

by the upheaval caused when Pattison Horswell Durden merged with AMV’s

media department in 1996. David Pattison, chief executive of New PHD

said: ’It shows how it’s possible for a big company like us to be both

strategic and big. That’s what we want to be as a business.’

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).