WCRS and Grey fight for £75m BSkyB business

The battle for BSkyB's £75 million advertising account has intensified, with WCRS and WPP's Grey London going head-to-head on the business.

It is understood that Dave Alberts, Grey's executive creative director, and Leon Jaume, his counterpart at WCRS, each met with Sky on the broadcaster's invitation late last week.

Sources say that, although the creatives were asked to go in "solo", Jaume turned up with Robin Wight and Peter Scott, WCRS's founders. The presentations were made to the BSkyB chief marketing officer, John Florsheim, and its brand marketing and sales director, Charles Ponsonby.

The two executives are now set to make their recommendations to the BSkyB chief executive, James Murdoch.

Grey's pitch is said to revolve around the creation of a specialised unit, dubbed "Team Sky". Sources close to WPP and Sky suggest that Murdoch will favour the WPP route, owing to ties he has built up with the holding company's chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell.

The pitch follows the demise of WPP's United London, the incumbent on the business. Sources close to United say it is bracing itself for up to 25 redundancies when the account moves. The Sky business accounts for an estimated 80 per cent of United's billings.

The agency's hold on the business, which it has handled since 2003, was damaged when its chief executive, Nick Howarth, quit last year.