Mediaedge:cia wins Blockbuster account

Blockbuster UK has appointed Mediaedge:cia to handle its estimated £10m media planning and buying business, as it launches a major marketing fightback against its online competitors.

The company, which has previously used Walker Media to handle its business, made the switch, which becomes effective next month, without a pitch.
American-owned Blockbuster's UK arm is its largest outside the US, with more than 700 stores and over four million account holders, but it has come under threat from online DVD rental and retail companies Screen Select and Amazon. The market is believed to be worth more than $1bn a year in the US and Europe.
Blockbuster UK spent nearly £5m on media in the past year, according to Nielsen Media Research, the majority of it on outdoor.
The company this week confirmed plans to at least double the spend, with a far bigger presence on TV, online and in press anticipated.
A major TV campaign has already kicked off this month, under Walker, and will continue in the run-up to Christmas, with the WPP agency taking over in November.
Blockbuster has reacted to the arrival of competition on the web by ramping up its own online offering at Blockbuster.co.uk.
Around the world, Blockbuster stores have also been moving towards an increased focus on retail.
Ireland's biggest DVD rental chain, Blockbuster UK's sister company, Xtra-vision, last month signed a retail distribution agreement to sell 3G phone giant 3's products in its 150-plus stores.
Executives from the company are understood to be playing an increasingly influential role within Blockbuster management. The fact that Mediaedge:cia's Irish business already worked with Xtra-vision is believed to have been a factor in the account move.
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