MEC wins Transport for London account

Mediaedge:cia has seen off competition from PHD to win the £10 million Transport for London media planning and buying account.

The appointment follows a four-month pitch process that also included Starcom, Media- Com and Carat. The shortlist was narrowed down to MEC and PHD - the incumbent of seven years - two weeks ago.

MEC will hold the account for a minimum of three years. TfL will then have the option to extend this contract for two years. The annual budget of the account is expected to increase during this period by as much as £5 million.

The decision to appoint MEC was based largely on price and the agency's ability to demonstrate accountability. The pitch was handled by Chris Townsend, TfL's director of group marketing.

TfL is conducting a statutory review of its £6 million ad account, which is held by M&C Saatchi. It is also reviewing the contract to handle advertising on the London Underground, which is held by Viacom Outdoor. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, TfL is still in negotiations with the Office of Fair Trading regarding the possibility of introducing an afternoon freesheet.