Pitch update: Morrisons, Co-op, Virgin Holidays

Morrisons has appointed Publicis London as the lead creative agency on its £70 million account.

Morrisons: Publicis London has been named lead creative agency on the supermarket’s £70 million account
Morrisons: Publicis London has been named lead creative agency on the supermarket’s £70 million account

This follows a pitch process that began in October and was run directly by the supermarket. The final stage was between Publicis London and J Walter Thompson London. CHI & Partners and WCRS were knocked out in a previous round. Grey London was also involved but pulled out at the start of December.

Andy Atkinson, Morrisons’ interim group marketing director, said: "We have been impressed by Publicis London’s experience, insight and commitment to our business. We look forward to working with them on some exciting ideas for 2016."

Guy Wieynk, the chief executive of Publicis UK Group, added: "Morrisons is a great British brand, driven by a management team that has a clear vision and a deep understanding of their customers’ mindsets and needs. Publicis London is honoured to be selected as their agency."

The Co-operative Group is holding chemistry meetings for its advertising review at the end of the month. The process is being handled by AAR. Leo Burnett London is the incumbent, having won the £50 million creative account after a competitive pitch against CHI & Partners and Now. The Co-operative Group uses Rocket for its media planning and buying.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme pitch has progressed from the chemistry round after meetings were held last week, with formal  presentations due to take place on 25-26 January. Five agencies are in the running: 101 London, J Walter Thompson; Mullen Lowe London; Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R; and TBWA\London.

The appointed shop will be given a two-year contract, with the potential for two additional one year extensions subject to performance. The statutory pitch, which was also open to agencies outside the government’s planning roster, is being handled directly by FSCS.

Heathrow Airport’s search for a creative agency is progressing. Shops were asked to submit their RFIs by 14 December, and the client has now shortlisted a handful of agencies to take part in chemistry meetings between 14-22 January.

Virgin Holidays has selected the agencies that it wants to meet with ahead of the pitch for its creative account. M&C Saatchi, the incumbent, has declined to compete for the business. Although it’s still early days, the fact that the process is being run by a procurement team that works across both Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic has led to speculation that Adam & Eve/DDB is a shoo-in for a spot on the pitchlist.

Savills has chosen eight agencies to go through to the chemistry stage for its digital strategy brief. The shops are preparing for the next meeting, due to take place at the end of the month, as they battle to be one of three to pitch for the business. Oystercatchers is handling the review. Savills appointed Isobel as its lead creative agency for its residential estate agency division last year.

Viacom has added MEC to its shortlist as it hunts for a UK media agency to handle all its TV channels – including Channel 5, MTV and Nickelodeon – for the first time. The other five shops in the running are: PHD, Starcom Mediavest Group, the7stars, UM London and Vizeum.

The 21st Century Fox $1 billion consolidated global media pitch has taken a twist. The TV and film giant has now asked agencies to pitch for some of the business on a country-by-country basis and could appoint a number of shops.


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