Grey grabs £30m Visa and Dairy Crest briefs

Grey Worldwide has beaten Lowe to the Visa International account in the same week that Dairy Crest has consolidated its £10 million account into the agency.

Grey teamed up with its below-the-line sister outfit Joshua for the Visa pitch, which includes central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The account, expected to bill about £20 million, will be run from London, however. The agency will be expected to work across all media, including TV. The business was previously handled by Saatchi & Saatchi.

The wins are the agency's first under its new chief executive, Garry Lace. Both pitches were handled by the AAR.

Grey won Dairy Crest after a final shoot-out against Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB.

The agency will now take responsibility for the former St Ivel brands handled by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. They include Golden Churn, Utterly Butterly, Vitalite and St Ivel Gold. Grey already handles the Clover, Frijj and Cathedral City accounts as the Dairy Crest incumbent. Dairy Crest bought St Ivel's spread brands in October for £86 million.

The original shortlist had also included Mustoes, Clemmow Hornby Inge and AMV, the incumbent on the St Ivel business. However, AMV declined to repitch in December and CHI pulled out of the process in January, claiming that it was uncomfortable with the way the pitch was being conducted.

Earlier this month, Dairy Crest awarded its centralised media business to John Ayling & Associates. The agency had already been working on Dairy Crest brands, while OMD UK was the incumbent on the St Ivel media account.

Lace said: "The two wins are an excellent way to start and will help me do what I need to do for the agency. I'm particularly pleased that we were able to work with Joshua on the Visa account. They were excellent pitch partners."