NEWS: Dorlands sees off AMV to net Halifax

Bates Dorland has ended its year in spectacular style by winning the pounds 26 million combined account of the Halifax and Leeds building societies.

Bates Dorland has ended its year in spectacular style by winning the

pounds 26 million combined account of the Halifax and Leeds building

societies.



The agency was told late on Wednesday that it had triumphed in the

‘winner-takes-all’ pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which has

handled the pounds 3 million Leeds business for the past ten years.



Media planning and buying will be centralised into Zenith Media, which

already handled the core pounds 23 million Halifax business.



The decision has raised speculation that Abbott Mead is now in pole

position to take the pounds 14 million Prudential account, which is

being reviewed out of Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy. The agency had

turned down the chance to pitch for the Pru while it awaited the result

of the Halifax/Leeds pitch (Campaign, last week).



Paul Twivy, the Dorlands group chief executive, said: ‘Our renaissance

since 1990 has been inextricably bound up with the Halifax. It’s one of

two or three campaigns of which we’re the most proud.’



The five-strong client team, led by Mike Blackburn, the Halifax chief

executive, is understood to have been particularly impressed by

Dorlands’ existing TV work for the Halifax.



It included some of the most spectacular and expensive commercials ever

seen on British television and featured hundreds of people forming a

‘human’ house and a bridge across a lake.



Dorlands assembled a massive 55-member team to lead the pitch. The key

players were David Wood, the Halifax board account director, Paul

Walter, the account’s creative director, and John Ward, the agency’s

planning consultant, who provided the continuity element.



At the same time, the agency organised a ‘shadow’ team to look at

possible alternative plans and anticipate what tactics Abbott Mead might

adopt.



‘We’re delighted to have retained the business through strategic and

creative excellence,’ Twivy said. ‘There can’t be tougher competition

than AMV, and this win is the thing of which we are most proud this

year.’



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