WCRS has made a dramatic bid to win the centralised media business of
Rover and BMW by teaming up with Initiative Media to compete for the
pounds 65 million account.
WCRS, which already handles the pounds 10 million BMW media business,
had been lined up against Rover’s agency, Zenith Media, to pitch for the
centralised account (Campaign, 19 April).
Although Initiative handles the Rover business across Europe, the UK
pitch had been restricted to the two local roster agencies.
However, WCRS is thought to have decided that its best chance of winning
the business against the UK’s biggest-spending media shop is to tap into
the greater resource of Initiative. The shop is the UK’s fifth-largest
media company, with billings of pounds 254 million last year. Zenith
bills more than pounds 600 million, while WCRS spends pounds 80 million.
The deal with Initiative is thought to be based on more than just a
simple arrangement, whereby Initiative would handle the media buying
should the consortium win the business.
Initiative has positioned itself as a client-focused media operation,
launching an innovations centre to handle media solutions such as
programme development and advertorials, which WCRS is keen to draw on.
WCRS also wants to quell speculation that it could not compete with
Zenith in the TV buying arena. Initiative’s media clout would help
answer such questions.
The strategic media planning for both the Rover and BMW brands will
remain with the creative agencies and is not part of the media pitch.
An Initiative tie-up is also attractive because Initiative’s chief
executive, Phil Georgiadis, a former vice-chairman of WCRS, knows the
agency’s style and has worked on the BMW business.
Neither Georgiadis nor Marc Mendoza, WCRS’s media director, were
available for comment.