Joshua and Publicis land £35m Post Office duties

Agencies retain £35m below-the-line and advertising tasks after five-month pitch.

Publicis and Joshua have retained the £35 million advertising and below-the-line Post Office accounts, after a five-month pitch for the business.

Publicis triumphed in a final shoot-out against its fellow Publicis Groupe subsidiary Saatchi & Saatchi. Lowe London was eliminated at an earlier stage of the process. The pitch was managed by The Haystack Group.

The WPP-owned Joshua beat WWAV Rapp Collins and a team from the Publicis-owned agencies Triangle and Arc Worldwide London.

Triangle has also won a place on the Post Office roster and will handle in-branch promotions and selected below-the-line projects.

Publicis will handle the bulk of the Post Office's advertising, including all of its TV campaigns. Joshua will develop promotional and direct marketing activity, including direct-response print work.

The communications will continue to use the animated ants of previous Post Office campaigns, but the agencies have been briefed to develop the strategy further. They will also promote the expansion of its financial services portfolio, which already includes car and home insurance, savings and credit cards.

The statutory review was overseen by John Scott, the former Burger King marketing director hired in February 2003 as the Post Office's head of communications.

Scott said: "We were impressed by the quality of all the pitches. Publicis and Joshua were selected on the basis of their track record, and for their recommendations on the future marketing strategy for the Post Office."

The chief executive of Publicis, Grant Duncan, said: "De-fending business is extremely tough. It hardly ever happens. To do this against such tough opposition is very gratifying."

The roster review has not affected the position of Draft London and Presky Maves, which were appointed to the Post Office's £10 million DM roster last year.

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