Initiative wins £97m General Motors UK media account

LONDON - Initiative Media has finally won the estimated £97m UK media-buying account for General Motors, following a four-month pitch battle.

Initiative won the account after a final shootout against the Starcom MediaVest Group, a combined team from Starcom Motive and Starcom MediaVest, the agency that holds the US account.

The two agencies were shortlisted last month, scotching earlier speculative reports that Initiative had already won the account. ZenithOptimedia and Carat were eliminated from the review at an earlier stage.

Jerry Hill, group chief execuitve of Initiative, said: "This will be the biggest media account pitch of the year. The process has rigorously tested all aspects of the communication planning and buying output of the agencies involved, and we are thrilled to have been appointed to work across all of General Motors UK's business at a time when the client is going through such a dynamic period."

Initiative, which is the incumbent on the £67m Vauxhall and £10m Daewoo accounts, adds the £20m Saab account to its GM business. Saab was previously held by sister Interpublic Group-owned Universal McCann.

GM wanted to consolidate the UK business into one agency, so Universal stepped aside and allowed Initiative to represent Interpublic in the pitch.

The review was called in April, six months after GM moved the Daewoo work into Initiative from Mediaedge:cia, following its takeover of the troubled Korean car manufacturer.

Patrick Dunster, marketing and communications manager at Vauxhall, confirmed the news last night.

He said: "It has been a very intensive and in-depth pitch and Initiative came out ahead of all the rest."

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