NEWS: YMG Carat triumphs in pounds 10m Le Shuttle battle

YMG Carat has landed the pounds 10 million media planning and buying for Le Shuttle following a three-way shoot-out.

YMG Carat has landed the pounds 10 million media planning and buying for

Le Shuttle following a three-way shoot-out.

YMG, backed by the full resources of the Carat Group, saw off

competition from Pattison Horswell Durden and Booth Lockett Makin to

seize control of the account.

The win will come as a welcome fillip to the agency which last month

lost a large slice of SmithKline Beecham business following a client

centralisation (Campaign, 29 March).

YMG will work alongside BST-BDDP, which won the creative account earlier

this month, and the incumbent through-the-line shop, Wunderman Cato

Johnson, which continues to run the coach and freight accounts

(Campaign, 5 April).

Mark Jamison, the managing director at YMG, said media would be used

‘across the board’, but declined to go into detail. John Sharkey, the

joint chairman at BST, would not reveal creative plans.

However, sources suggest that the push will amount to a relaunch of the

brand, which was previously handled on a full-service basis by BMP DDB.

NOP research has suggested that consumers are confused between Le

Shuttle’s passenger and car service and the passenger-only Eurostar


Commenting on suggestions that the Carat connection helped clinch the

deal, Jamison said: ‘Obviously we’re part of the Carat Group, but we

pitched as YMG Carat. We won thanks to a combination of the strengths

that we are able to bring to the client and the negotiating leverage and

research resource offered by the Carat Group. We went to town on the

planning side. We have a lot of research resource and made heavy use

of it. The client has bought into that.’

The agency review was instigated by Bill Dix, the chief commercial

officer for Le Shuttle, who joined the company from Avis in 1995.

Eurotunnel, the operator of Le Shuttle, recently notched up a pounds 925

million after-tax loss for 1995. However, despite low consumer

awareness, Le Shuttle carries 44.9 per cent of the car cross-Channel


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