NEWS: Zenith wins bid to hold pounds 70m Kingfisher task

Zenith Media has seen off the challenge of four other media agencies to retain the pounds 70 million Kingfisher media-buying account.

Zenith Media has seen off the challenge of four other media agencies to

retain the pounds 70 million Kingfisher media-buying account.

Zenith, which pitched against TMD Carat, CIA Medianetwork, Mediastar and

MediaCom, has emerged from the two-month review process with a direct

contract. The media shop’s relationship with the retail group had

previously been sub-contracted through the creative agencies, Bates

Dorland for Woolworth, Superdrug and B&Q, and Saatchi and Saatchi for


Christine Walker, the chief executive of Zenith, said: ‘We have got an

independent assignment, which is very important to me and to Eddie

Styring [the chairman of Comet, who led the review]. We will work

incredibly well together.’

Walker dismissed industry rumours that Zenith had been forced to offer

commission rates of less than 1 per cent in order to retain the

business. ‘I am very happy with our terms of business,’ she said.

‘Kingfisher is much more concerned with media value than media cost,

which is exactly the way it should be.’

Styring also stressed the importance of media value. ‘We have

reappointed Zenith because its proposals most clearly matched our own

intention - to deliver real and lasting improvement in Kingfisher’s

media value,’ he said.

This is the first time Kingfisher has entered into a direct group

relationship with a media buyer. It has always left each retail brand to

handle its media and advertising in a decentralised way, but Zenith has

conducted centralised press negotiations for the group since 1988.

Around 80 per cent of Kingfisher’s business is focused on the press.

Zenith, which has handled Woolworth, B&Q and Superdrug since its

formation, picked up the pounds 24 million Comet account in April after

losing the rival Dixons business to the Media Centre.

Kingfisher’s decision to review is said to have followed the revelation

that its pre-tax profits fell 15 per cent in the six months to 29 July

this year.

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