J. Walter Thompson and The Telegraph Group have parted company
after more than eight years together.
The newspaper, which spends £7 million above the line each year,
is already in talks with a number of agencies and is in the process of
drawing up a shortlist. McCann-Erickson, Clemmow Hornby Inge and Spirit
are among those to have entered talks with the media owner.
Jeremy Deedes, the managing director of The Telegraph Group, explained
the move as the result of the needs of the paper having changed.
However, insiders suggest that the client has lacked a close contact at
the agency since the departure of its chief executive, Stephen Carter,
"There is no single reason why I feel a move is right for us," Deedes
commented. "But The Daily Telegraph's needs have changed immensely over
the eight-and-a- half years that we have worked together, for which JWT
can take much credit. My instincts are that now is a good time for the
papers to make a change."
The chief executive of JWT, Simon Bolton, said: "Jeremy and I have
talked about the direction our respective organisations are taking and
from these discussions believe that we will both benefit from a
JWT has handled the creative work since December 1994, but the most
recent work for the paper's titles has been producing TV spots featuring
a current affairs-obsessed newsagent. The ads carry the strapline: "To a
In April the paper began to focus on TV advertising by moving its
marketing spend for 2001 into ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and away
from outdoor and print. It is not known if this strategy will continue
after the move.
The Telegraph Group's marketing director, Mark Dixon, will oversee the
search for a new agency.
Despite a press statement applauding JWT's efforts for keeping the
paper's circulation figures above the one million mark (according to the
latest ABC figures for the period from April to September), The Daily
Telegraph has suffered a drop in circulation of 0.59 per cent.