News International picks WPP to handle £28 million ad account

The ties between Rupert Murdoch's News International and Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP are set to strengthen following NI's decision to award its £28 million advertising business to the holding company.

News International: WPP to create Team News
News International: WPP to create Team News

NI has asked WPP to put together Team News, a multi-disciplinary unit bringing together the best talent from across its agencies.

Team News is expected to be created after a pitch process involving WPP ad agencies. Sources suggested CHI & Partners, the incumbent on The Times creative account, Grey London and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R had been invited to pitch.

Katie Vanneck-Smith, the chief marketing officer at NI, said: "We haven’t finalised the brief yet, but we are looking at a closed pitch within WPP group."

WPP had been selected, according to Vanneck-Smith, due to "the long history of relationship" with NI.

As a result, WCRS will lose the £12 million ad account for The Sun. WPP’s Mindshare handles media for NI and the publisher is expected to keep its media account within WPP as part of the Team News deal in a bid to create efficiencies and savings.

NI called a review of its agency roster last month as part of cost-cutting measures demanded by its new chief executive, Tom Mockridge.