Five stand by as Observer splits from O&M

The Observer newspaper has called a pitch for its £3.7 million above-the-line task after falling out with its existing agency, Ogilvy & Mather, over creative strategy.

Marc Sands, the marketing director of Guardian Newspapers, has called

the review, which marks the end of the paper's four-year association

with O&M. The agency will not be repitching.

Sands is looking to build on the existing creative work, which has seen

the paper enjoy a circulation rise over the past 12 months, and has

drawn up a shortlist. Fallon, Mother, Leagas Delaney, BMP DDB and

Malcolm Moore Deakin Blazye will compete for the task. Sands appointed

BMP to The Guardian's £6 million advertising account in

January.

Sands cited creative differences as the reason for the review. "O&M has

definitely played its part in turning that paper's fortunes around," he

said. "I have a feeling, though, that there is much better work that can

be done on The Observer. We have tried to develop this (with O&M) over

the past few months but it just hasn't worked."

"I don't think we'll move to the next stage with O&M," Sands added. "The

Observer is on a major up and we need to ensure this continues. This is

the time to step on the gas."

A decision is expected by the end of October.

O&M scooped The Observer's account in 1997 following a four-way pitch

against BMP, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and WCRS. It has created a cinema

campaign based on a Bollywood theme, as well as extensive print work to

support The Observer Sport Monthly.

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