The online books and music retailer BOL.com has handed its UK
planning and buying business to BBJ as it moves to centralise its
European media arrangements into the Carat group.
The news comes as a blow to Walker Media, which has handled the group’s
pounds 7 million account since BOL.com’s arrival in the UK last year.
M&C Saatchi’s hold on the creative account is unaffected by the
BOL.com, which is owned by the German media giant Bertelsmann, has
invested heavily in international expansion in the past 12 months. The
company has established operations in France, Spain, Switzerland and the
Netherlands as well as the UK, and launched a Japanese site in May this
The rationalisation of the company’s European media business comes
alongside a building global showdown with its rival online retailer
In the US, BOL.com has moved to take a 40 per cent stake in its fellow
Amazon rival Barnes-andNoble.com.
’We already have a more advanced international profile than Amazon,’
Catrin Hughes, a spokeswoman for BOL UK, said. ’The move to the Carat
group reflects our increasing focus on globalisation and is in no way a
reflection on Walker Media. We have had a fantastic relationship with
M&C Saatchi’s controversial UK launch campaign for BOL.com featured a
naked couple who preferred reading to having sex, and topped the
Advertising Standards Authority’s list of complaints in 1999.