New-business activity was up by 79 per cent year-on-year in the
first quarter of 2001 according to the newbizmoves database, produced by
the AAR and MediaTel.
The figures contradict the claims of many agencies that new business has
been slow this year. However, the total value of pitches was up by just
13 per cent to pounds 673 million, indicating that a lot of the moves
have been made by smaller-spending clients.
Martin Jones, the owner of the AAR, said: "Undoubtedly the perception of
the market is based on the lack of major national clients holding
competitive pitches this year."
A total of 215 reviews were announced in the first quarter of 2001,
compared to 120 over the same period in 2000.
The majority of major pitches have been either international (Ericsson,
Vizzavi, World Gold Council and Marconi), or roster reviews (Unilever,
Kraft and Wella). Many major clients, including NatWest and Vodafone,
have moved their UK business without a formal pitch.
Creative-only reviews made up 66 per cent of the total, up from 53 per
cent last year, while media reviews were down to 25 per cent from 32 per
cent. The average number of agencies invited to pitch for each account
has remained constant at 2.7.
Dotcom reviews represented only 7 per cent of the total, compared with
28 per cent in the first quarter of 2000.
For direct marketing agencies, the local picture has been much more
buoyant: high- profile national clients such as BT, Orange, RBS/NatWest
and One2One all announced reviews in the first quarter.
Gloomy perceptions have encouraged redundancies in the first quarter of
2001. McCann-Erickson has lost 17 staff, Ogilvy & Mather has lost 19,
and Saatchi & Saatchi has closed its media planning department, with the
loss of up to 20 jobs. BMP DDB has found jobs within the group for four
of those it made redundant (Campaign, 11 May).