News International reviews £28m agency roster

News International is putting its entire agency roster, including WCRS and CHI & Partners, on notice as part of a wide-ranging review of its marketing communications.

The Sunday Times: part of NI agency review
The Sunday Times: part of NI agency review

The embattled newspaper group is said to be keen to make savings as part of a cost-cutting drive instigated by the recently installed chief executive, Tom Mockridge.

NI, which was forced to close News of the World in July last year amid the phone-hacking scandal, is in the
process of deciding whether to throw open the review to agencies outside of its roster.

The £28 million advertising account is split between Engine’s WCRS and CHI & Partners, with the former responsible for The Sun and the latter The Times and The Sunday Times. Mindshare handles NI’s media account.

Barnaby Dawe, the outgoing marketing communications director at NI, said: "We’re not looking to consolidate our agency relationship into either CHI or Engine. With the recent restructure of our marketing department, we’re taking this opportunity to review our relationships with all our agencies on our current roster."

Dawe is leaving the company in March to join the sister News Corporation publisher HarperCollins as its chief marketing officer. NI’s chief marketing officer, Katie Vanneck-Smith, will take over the review process.

In September last year, NI created a new marketing structure split into three teams: brand marketing, acquisition and sales, and customer management.

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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).