Media shops line up for pounds 18m BSkyB task

BSkyB has begun the anticipated review of its pounds 18 million media planning and buying account, calling in three agencies to pitch for the business.

BSkyB has begun the anticipated review of its pounds 18 million

media planning and buying account, calling in three agencies to pitch

for the business.



Zenith Media currently handles the account, but its hold on the business

was thrown into question when its chief executive, Christine Walker,

announced her resignation in January.



At the time, Sky’s marketing director, Jim Hytner, admitted that the

account would come under review. Sam Chisholm, Sky’s chief executive, is

known to have a close relationship with Walker, and her departure has

provided the Sky marketing team with an opportunity to review its media

arrangements.



Sky has invited Universal McCann and the Network to pitch against

Zenith.



Pitches will be held at the end of March and a decision is expected

during April.



Speculation is mounting that the Network is the favoured home for the

Sky account after reports that Walker is in line for the job of pulling

together the Network and its fellow WPP media operation at J. Walter

Thompson into a fresh media brand. If the business joins the Network

before Walker arrives, she cannot be accused of poaching the

account.



Hytner insisted that there was no pre-set agenda in favour of the

Network.



’We have been enormously impressed by Mandy Pooler (the Network’s

managing director),’ he said. ’The agency is on the list entirely

through its own merit.’



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