Universal seizes top film account

The UK’s largest independent film distributor, Ent-ertainment Film Distrib-utors, has awarded its pounds 10 million media buying and planning business to Universal McCann.

The UK’s largest independent film distributor, Ent-ertainment Film

Distrib-utors, has awarded its pounds 10 million media buying and

planning business to Universal McCann.



Universal saw off at least two agencies to take the business, one of

which is thought to have been the incumbent, New PHD.



The win is Universal’s first major account gain since its spin-off from

McCann-Erickson more than a year ago.



Entertainment Film Distributors, which is part of the Entertainment

Group, spent pounds 9.7 million in 1996, according to ACN MEAL.



Its investment in 1997 will depend on the films the company distributes

during the course of the year.



Trista Grant, the man-aging director of Universal McCann, commented:

’Our experience across similar fast turnaround business such as Tower

Records and UCI Cinemas was significant in helping us to understand this

market and the particular needs of Entertainment Film Distributors.’



Grant said that the win was ’the one the agency had been waiting for’

and was the culmination of its first year of activity. She credited

Universal’s bespoke research tools - Insight and Cognito - as playing an

important role in the deal.



The business will be headed by the planning director, Chris Shaw, while

the group planning director, Mark Barber, and the TV manager, Martin

Heaton-Cooper, will play key roles on the account.



Shaw joined Universal from Initiative Media 14 months ago to head

new-business activity.



Shaw commented: ’This is exactly the kind of client we have been

searching for. The win is doubly satisfying for Universal as

Entertainment Film Distributors is a fast-moving retail business, which

is something we have not been renowned for.’



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