Channel 5 owner Viacom hands PHD £15m UK media account

Viacom, the owner of Channel 5 and MTV, has appointed PHD as its UK media agency after consolidating its planning and buying for all its TV channels for the first time.

Channel 5: is being rebranded by owner Viacom
Channel 5: is being rebranded by owner Viacom

PHD will be likely to savour its appointment to the estimated £15 million Viacom account after MTV dumped the agency a year ago during a trading dispute in the UK between Omnicom, the parent company of PHD, and Channel 5.

Five agencies contested the Viacom International Media Networks pitch: MEC, PHD, Starcom Mediavest Group, Universal McCann, and Vizeum. The7stars was approached initially by Viacom but did not pitch.

Vizeum held Channel 5 and UM had the account for Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Viacom decided to consolidate its media agencies after its acquisition of Channel 5 in 2014.

Kerry Taylor, VIMN’s chief marketing officer in the UK, said: "PHD were the unanimous choice of all our brand heads based on a knockout pitch combining all their strategic expertise and creativity with a strong dose of innovation and a keen understanding and appreciation of our brands.

"By consolidating our media strategy with a single agency, we’re confident we will secure stronger strategic support for all our brands and be able to leverage the collective power of those brands to deliver more efficient media buying and planning."

Daren Rubins, the chief executive of PHD UK, said he was "delighted" to win the account. "When we were given the chance to pitch for Viacom’s portfolio of ambitious challenger brands, we jumped at the chance."

Omnicom and Viacom ended their year-long trading dispute in May 2015 when Channel 5 closed its independent ad sales house and moved the business into Sky, which already handled other Viacom channels.

It is understood that some Omnicom clients have not yet returned fully to Channel 5 because they committed money to other broadcasters in long-term deals.

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