St Luke's grabs BT lead agency prize

St Luke's is set to oust Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as British Telecom's lead agency after landing the task to develop the entire company's future global strategic positioning.

St Luke's is set to oust Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as British Telecom's lead agency after landing the task to develop the entire company's future global strategic positioning.

The move will see intellectual control of BT's above- and below-the-line activity move squarely into St Luke's remit. As a result, the entire portfolio of communication strategies for BT will incorporate St Luke's work.

The appointment is designed to allow BT to present itself as a cohesive operation, rather than a conglomerate of its component parts. The company spends more than pounds 120 million on advertising in the UK.

St Luke's successfully pitched against its fellow roster agencies M&C Saatchi and AMV to win the business. Tim Evans, the marketing services director at BT, said: 'We asked our roster agencies to help us review our overall brand and communication strategies going forward. We liked the St Luke's presentation best.'

Work by AMV, which handles the retail, Open World, Ignite and Cellnet portions of the business, and by M&C Saatchi, which is responsible for all of BT's business advertising, will incorporate St Luke's communications strategy from next year.

'The new proposition will be the central strategic idea behind all our work going forward,' Evans confirmed. 'The agency's work will be a unifying theme across all our stakeholder groups.'

It is not yet known how St Luke's strategy will manifest itself creatively.

Evans said that it was too early to go into such detail.

However, it is thought to be unlikely that AMV's ET campaign will continue to run beyond next summer. 'Our plans are to continue with ET for the foreseeable future,' Evans said. 'But the pace of change in the marketplace means you can never say never - although all this speculation is a bit of a mountain out of a molehill.'

However, a source close to the business said: 'St Luke's has come up with an idea that is very user-friendly. One could assert that it's a good replacement for ET.'

The ET campaign was introduced to BT's advertising following the company's full-scale review, which resulted in AMV being reappointed by BT at the beginning of last year.

St Luke's won the youth portion of the account as part of the review.

Since then it has developed work on the company's music-oriented website,www.getoutthere.bt.com.

St Luke's was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.



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