TBWA loses out as News Group calls £20m review

The Sun and News of the World look elsewhere for creative as sales continue to fall.

TBWA\London has lost the £20 million-billing The Sun and News of the World creative accounts.

News Group Newspapers, which spends £13 million on The Sun and £7 million on the News of the World, is using the AAR to approach agencies with a brief calling for high-volume TV and radio advertising capabilities. TBWA will not repitch.

The review follows the appointment of Roland Agambar as the marketing director of News Group Newspapers last October.

He said: "In an extremely competitive tabloid market, it is critical that we deliver the best possible output. We are driven by our own successes and are challenged by new working relationships and ideas."

Agambar returned to News Group, where he used to be the head of marketing at The Sun, after two years at Express Newspapers as the group marketing director. He will be leading the pitch, but refused to comment on the review process.

TBWA has held the News Group account since the agency was merged with Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow Johnson six years ago. Simons Palmer picked up the business in 1993.

TBWA created the "We love it" strapline for The Sun, and a raft of fast-turnaround tactical ads for both papers.

Andrew McGuinness, the chief executive of TBWA, commented: "We've had a great run with News International. It has been a fantastic client and we've learned a lot from them. We're looking forward to using that knowledge elsewhere."

The review is not thought to affect Carat, the publisher's media agency.

The latest newspaper Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, published last week, brought bad news for News Group Newspapers. The Sun was down 3.23 per cent to 3,273,116, while its Trinity Mirror rival, the Daily Mirror, was down 1.63 per cent to 1,719,743. Year on year, The Sun fared better, down only 3.73 per cent, while the Mirror was down 8.86 per cent.

The Sunday red-tops were hard hit in the recent ABCs and the News of the World was down, suffering a drop of 4.55 per cent to 3,649,466. The Sunday Mirror was down by 7.12 per cent to 1,534,736.

News Group Newspapers is owned by News International, which also publishes The Times and The Sunday Times. Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R handles creative for the brands.