The BBC would neither confirm nor deny reports that TBWA/London's affiliation to the Labour Party helped Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO win lead agency status on its new agency roster.
AMV beat off a final challenge from TBWA to secure the lion's share of the corporation's business. Sources say TBWA's hold on the Labour advertising account swung the pendulum in AMV's favour after a pitch failed to separate the two agencies.
Leagas Delaney, which created the award-winning 'perfect day' commercial, has been kicked off the roster. The BBC responded firmly to published quotes from Leagas Delaney's chief executive, Tim Delaney, that his agency had lost out owing to a lack of experience at the corporation following the departure of Matthew Bannister as the director of marketing.
'We would stress that Matthew is still here and has taken the decision along with a very experienced senior team,' the BBC's head of communications, Sally Osman, said.
'We've worked on the business with a degree of commitment and passion over and above the financial rewards,' Leagas Delaney's chairman, Bruce Haines, said. 'Their new team has given us no credit whatsoever for our contribution.'
AMV will take lead agency status in a streamlined roster that also includes Fallon and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters. Fallon, the only roster agency to be re-appointed, has been handed a brief that includes youth work as well as projects such as the FA Cup. Duckworth Finn will work on strategic projects.
'It's a huge and significant win for us,' AMV's managing director, Cilla Snowball, said.
David Grint, the BBC's new head of marketing planning, stressed the importance of close co-operation between the three agencies. 'We believe each agency complements the others and that the new roster will encourage creative and strategic collaboration both with each other and with the BBC's own internal creative services department,' he said.
The BBC is still looking for a director of marketing to replace Bannister.