PHD wins final pitch to retain £20m BBC off-air media work

PHD has retained the BBC's estimated £20 million media planning and buying account.

The agency will handle media strategy and buying excluding the BBC's own airtime and its online media. Last year the BBC spent £13 million on off-air media, but this is expected to increase as it gears up for the launch of its Digital Terrestrial Television platform.

PHD, which faced a statutory review of the account conducted through the AAR, retained the business after a final pitch against Zenith Media and Optimedia.

In May, the BBC originally shortlisted six agencies, including Initiative Media, MindShare and Mediaedge:cia, to pitch for the account.

As well as planning and buying media, the task will involve delivering strategic advice on media issues that affect the BBC, such as the way ahead for DTT. PHD will handle planning and buying for the corporation across press and outdoor but it uses the outdoor specialist Poster Publicity to conduct its poster deals.

David Grint, the BBC's head of marketing planning, hoped that the pitch would lead to closer working between its media agency and in-house resources.

BBC Broadcast will continue to handle planning for the BBC's on-air promotions.

The retention of PHD follows the BBC's selection of its creative roster last year. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, DFGW and Fallon won places to pitch for individual creative tasks. A pitch to create advertising for the launch of the DTT platform is underway.

BBC began the media review last October, via an ad placed in the Official Journal of the European Community.

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