Zenith Media is understood to have clinched the pounds 65 million
centralised Rover and BMW media buying account, although Robin Wight,
chief executive of WCRS, which is also involved in the pitch, is said to
be making an 11th-hour bid to force a rethink.
Zenith, which already handles the pounds 55 million Rover business,
pitched for the centralised account against BMW’s media incumbent, WCRS,
and its pitching partner, Initiative Media, earlier this month.
The two media incumbents did battle over the media buying on the
combined account; media planning will remain with the creative agencies.
Ammirati Puris Lintas handles creative work for Rover, while WCRS is
responsible for BMW’s creative task.
The pitch was called as part of a review of the BMW and Rover media
business across Europe, on a country-by-country basis, after BMW’s
acquisition of Rover in 1994.
Nothing had been confirmed in writing as Campaign went to press, but
Zenith’s past performance in the TV market is thought to have clinched
One WCRS source admitted that the pitch had, in the end, come down to
media value. The two incumbents are understood to have been neck-and-
neck in the press market, but Zenith is believed to have come out on top
Marc Mendoza, the media director of WCRS, said that no decision had yet
been made. ‘I’d be surprised if there is a decision next week, even,’ he
told Campaign. No-one at Zenith was available for comment.
Speculation is mounting that, if Zenith is confirmed as the winner, WCRS
could move its media department into the UK media shop, Mediapolis,
which is due to launch later this year.
Mediapolis, a pan-European media network, is a joint venture between
WCRS’s parent company, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, and Young and Rubicam.
WCRS’s BMW media business has been one of the stumbling blocks to the
agency joining Mediapolis because Euro RSCG’s media operation,
Mediastar, handles the Peugeot Citroen centralised media account.