Pattison Horswell Durden has opened the doors of a new media joint
venture with Cogent by scooping the pounds 6 million media planning and
buying for Proton Cars.
The new company, PHD Compass, picked up the business this week from the
media incumbent, Quadrant Advertising and Marketing. PHD Compass pitched
for the business alongside the Bristol-based start-up agency, Bedrock
Advertising and Marketing, which was confirmed as the winner of the
creative pitch a few weeks ago (Campaign, 16 February).
The media review was between the incumbent, PHD Compass, Media Solutions
Manchester and John Ayling and Associates. Mark Cross, the former media
director of Cogent and now the managing director of PHD Compass,
described the win as ‘a strong endorsement of PHD Compass’s proposition
PHD Compass is effectively a second-string media company that combines
the media billings of Cogent with the brand values of PHD. It offers
Cogent the opportunity to rejuvenate its media brand and provides PHD
with an outlet for conflicting business.
Cogent’s media teams in Birmingham and London will be rebranded as
standalone operations under the PHD Compass umbrella, but will tap into
PHD’s research resource and greater clout in the media marketplace,
particularly in TV negotiations.
Cross has appointed his assistant, Mark Girling, as the new company’s
media director. PHD will have executive control over PHD Compass, with
one of the PHD partners - David Pattison, Nick Horswell or Jonathan
Durden - taking the chairman’s role. It launches with start-up billings
of around pounds 30 million, encompassing Cogent’s media business -
which includes Vladivar, Network Q and Jewsons - and the Proton win.
Horswell said that the PHD Compass concept could also work with other
full-service agencies. ‘It is definitely a proposition that could be
attractive to other regional agencies that want to get on the front foot
with media,’ he said. ‘But we have to ensure that the fit is right and
that Compass doesn’t become a series of franchises divorced from the PHD
‘Cogent’s media team are just the sort of people we want to work with,’