Media Perspective: New-business win will do wonders for Vizeum proposition

The Sky+ box hasn't had much of a workout this summer. My usually jam-packed planner was 62 per cent free until a deluge of post-holiday programming hit our screens this week.

This Is England '86 on Channel 4? Set to record. New series of Midsomer Murders on ITV1? Set to record. Mad Men on BBC4? Set to record.

It's a relief for me that the summer programming drought is over but Grant Millar, the managing director of Vizeum, and his team last week put an end to an even more painful lean period. The Aegis-owned agency finally scored its first big win on the 2010 Campaign new- business league by landing the £23 million Anheuser-Busch InBev account.

Stellas all round, then, at Vizeum's funkily named The Qube offices, but the mood was slightly less jubilant at Starcom MediaVest Group. The Publicis agency has emerged as the new-business whipping boy of 2010 with a net billings loss of £154 million on the Campaign league to date (though its COI radio account loss is certainly not as significant as it seemed back in February).

Starcom has its work cut out to claw back this deficit but Vizeum has capitalised on its strong heritage in the alcoholic drinks category by finding a more than adequate replacement for the Molson Coors account it lost last year to ZenithOptimedia. It may also now find the momentum it lost in 2009 as it struggled to fulfil the potential it demonstrated in 2008.

The Aegis agency, which had invested in a planning-led proposition and in sharpening up its digital skills, seemed to suffer in the tough environment of last year - winning well on occasion but creating little in the way of award-winning work and finding itself a victim of the Lloyds Banking Group consolidation and then losing the Molson Coors business.

It's taken a while, but its revival in fortunes, which began in June with the capture of the communications planning account for BT's Olympics sponsorship, seems to have coincided with the arrival of Stuart Bowden from MEC as the deputy managing director and head of planning. With a reputation as one of the finest communications planners around, Bowden and his planning team have brought the Vizeum proposition alive.

The agency still has much to do and it needs to generate greater volumes of high-profile, award-winning work if it is to truly earn a reputation as one of the leading media agencies in town. People and a clever positioning will undoubtedly help, as will its move later this year into new Aegis Media offices alongside the likes of Carat. But the impact of a new-business triumph cannot be underestimated. After all, to paraphrase Peter Cook, success in media is all about the three Ms: momentum, momentum, momentum.

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