Walker Media doubles staff after Dixons win

Walker Media will have to double its staff numbers within the next three months as it moves quickly to take on the pounds 108 million Dixons media business.

Walker Media will have to double its staff numbers within the next

three months as it moves quickly to take on the pounds 108 million

Dixons media business.



The agency is expected to poach key staff working on the business at the

incumbent agency, MediaVest, although it is unclear whether this will be

possible before Dixons arrives at Walker Media in late spring. Senior

executives on the business, including Steve Anderson, who followed the

business to MediaVest from Zenith in 1995, are thought to have lengthy

notice periods.



At a stroke the pounds 108 million account, which incorporates Dixons

Stores, Currys, PC World and the Link outlets, crashes through Walker

Media’s target of pounds 100 million of new business in its first year

of operation. The agency officially opened its doors for business on 1

January.



Walker Media scooped Dixons the business from under the nose of

MediaVest this week, although the move has been anticipated ever since

Dixons’ creative agency, M&C Saatchi, announced that it was launch-ing

its own joint venture media company, Walker Media, at the end of last

year.



A brief statement from Dixons confirmed that ’after several very

productive years with MediaVest, Dixons Group has been evaluating its

options with a view to developing a more holistic approach to

advertising and, to this end, it will be transferring its media buying

to Walker Media’.



The decision to align media more closely with M&C Saatchi, which has a

50 per cent stake in Walker Media, is a testament to the creative

agency’s relationship with the Dixons Group as well as the strength of

the team now in place at Walker Media, headed by Christine Walker and

Phil Georgiadis.



When Maurice and Charles Saatchi left Saatchi & Saatchi at the end of

1994, Dixons pulled its creative account out of Saatchis and into the

new M&C Saatchi agency and moved its media business from Saatchis’ media

shop, Zenith, into MediaVest (then called the Media Centre).



At the time reports suggested that the Media Centre was handling the

account at a very low commission level, and it has been suggested that

the business actually made a loss for the media company.



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