Xerox, the global document management company, has appointed Impiric to handle its direct marketing across Europe.
The agency won the pounds 8 million pan-European business after a pitch against three other agencies: WWAV Rapp Collins, Claydon Heeley Jones Mason and Lowe Direct.
Impiric, the direct marketing arm of Young & Rubicam, previously worked with Xerox in the UK. Xerox has decided to move from a model of local offices appointing individual agencies to using one agency across Europe.
Anthony Hyde, Xerox's direct marketing manager for Europe, oversaw the pitch. An unusual pitch process, involving agencies submitting budget, production and fee costs in an online auction, was used to decide the outcome.
Impiric's task will be to run a programme including direct mail and other channels, such as e-marketing, across Xerox's key European markets. Xerox is moving from being a supplier of copiers to a provider of a range of office equipment.
The company has faced financial difficulties with losses of dollars 200 million in the last quarter of 2000. However, it is placing a greater emphasis on revenue generation this year in an attempt to return to profitability.
Xerox has conducted similar consolidations of its other agencies, with Young & Rubicam running its advertising across Europe and Media Edge appointed on media.
David Butter, Impiric's executive vice-president Europe, said: 'We have had a business relationship with Xerox in the past but this pitch was certainly not a foregone conclusion.'
Xerox has said that it expects to return to profitability by the end of this year as it focuses on producing digital printing products. Its advertising supports its digital range but the balance of Xerox's spend is likely to move increasingly toward direct marketing as it attempts to drive sales.
Its problems have stemmed from decreasing demand for office copying products because of the evolution of internet messaging. It has axed around 6,000 jobs worldwide.