Blockbuster to review UK account

- Blockbuster Entertainment is lining up a list of agencies to pitch for its £5 million advertising account, currently held by TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.

- Blockbuster Entertainment is lining up a list of agencies to pitch for its £5 million advertising account, currently held by TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.

The pitch is being co-ordinated by the AAR and agencies being considered for the shortlist include HHCL & Partners, Partners BDDH, Delaney Lund Knox Warren and TBWA. A shortlist of three is expected by the end of this week.

It is thought that the company is keen to move to a smaller agency than TBWA — it appointed GGT in 1995, which has since been folded in to TBWA. The company's UK director of marketing, Siobhan Chatburn, called the review, which comes as the video rental market faces stiff competition from video-on-demand.

Agencies are being informed that the account will be worth £10 million, but it only spent £5 million last year. The company is intending to increase the proportion of its budget spent on radio advertising.

A Blockbuster spokesman said: "With increasing competition from direct-to-home movie delivery services, 2000 represents a challenging time for Blockbuster to prove that it can deliver not only newer movies, but a far wider choice than is available from any other source. Blockbuster therefore felt it prudent to open up the strategic and creative playing field to ensure that it enters the New Year with the right message and the right creative to successfully overcome the challenges ahead."

The company is currently developing its DVD service and is moving further into new media and e-commerce. It has teamed up with Warner Home Video and Toshiba to push DVD in the run up to Christmas with a £2 million ad campaign.

Blockbuster is owned by Viacom, which also owns the video distribution company, CIC. That company appointed Delaney Fletcher Bozell to its £4 million account earlier this year.

Blockbuster handed its media account to Booth Lockett Makin earlier this month following a review out of CIA Medianetwork. However, the spokesman said the creative review was unrelated to the change in media agency.



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