Bates Dorland has ended its year in spectacular style by winning the
pounds 26 million combined account of the Halifax and Leeds building
The agency was told late on Wednesday that it had triumphed in the
‘winner-takes-all’ pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which has
handled the pounds 3 million Leeds business for the past ten years.
Media planning and buying will be centralised into Zenith Media, which
already handled the core pounds 23 million Halifax business.
The decision has raised speculation that Abbott Mead is now in pole
position to take the pounds 14 million Prudential account, which is
being reviewed out of Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy. The agency had
turned down the chance to pitch for the Pru while it awaited the result
of the Halifax/Leeds pitch (Campaign, last week).
Paul Twivy, the Dorlands group chief executive, said: ‘Our renaissance
since 1990 has been inextricably bound up with the Halifax. It’s one of
two or three campaigns of which we’re the most proud.’
The five-strong client team, led by Mike Blackburn, the Halifax chief
executive, is understood to have been particularly impressed by
Dorlands’ existing TV work for the Halifax.
It included some of the most spectacular and expensive commercials ever
seen on British television and featured hundreds of people forming a
‘human’ house and a bridge across a lake.
Dorlands assembled a massive 55-member team to lead the pitch. The key
players were David Wood, the Halifax board account director, Paul
Walter, the account’s creative director, and John Ward, the agency’s
planning consultant, who provided the continuity element.
At the same time, the agency organised a ‘shadow’ team to look at
possible alternative plans and anticipate what tactics Abbott Mead might
‘We’re delighted to have retained the business through strategic and
creative excellence,’ Twivy said. ‘There can’t be tougher competition
than AMV, and this win is the thing of which we are most proud this