BT has given a massive vote of confidence to the Abbott Mead
Vickers group by handing it two prestigious pieces of business in the
The group’s main agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, has beaten the odds
to capture a pounds 15 million business and consumer press campaign,
while its media agency, New PHD, has triumphed in a separate pitch to
handle media strategy across the pounds 100 million-plus business of
Britain’s biggest advertiser.
BT’s decision on the creative account is a surprise because AMV was
thought to have only an outside chance of adding to its already huge
slice of the corporation’s adspend after BT signalled that it wanted to
look beyond its two lead roster shops, AMV and Partners BDDH, when it
called the pitch (Campaign, 6 February).
But a combined pitch team made up of the agency and Craik Jones Watson
Mitchell Voelkel, the direct marketing agency which joined the group six
months ago, won the day. Craik Jones has extensive experience of the
telecoms market through its work for Cable & Wireless.
Sholto Douglas-Home, BT’s head of advertising, said: ’We will have a
unified team which will straddle the two agencies.’
AMV beat M&C Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters to the
assignment. Michael Baulk, AMV’s chief executive, said: ’I’m aware there
has been speculation that we had to come from behind to win. But we were
assured by BT that it was a level playing field and that’s the way it
New PHD picked up the strategic media account following a five-way pitch
against Zenith Media, MediaCom, Manning Gottlieb Media and Unity. The
agency will work across all of BT’s business, which was backed by a
pounds 131.5 million spend in 1997, according to AC Niel-sen-MEAL.
However, Unity will also work with BT on a project basis.
The win is a boost for New PHD’s planning credentials, which were dented
by the upheaval caused when Pattison Horswell Durden merged with AMV’s
media department in 1996. David Pattison, chief executive of New PHD
said: ’It shows how it’s possible for a big company like us to be both
strategic and big. That’s what we want to be as a business.’