NEWS: BMW pools pounds 65m media into Zenith media task

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 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

the business.



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

in TV.



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.



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