The Week: Agencies on alert as Sky kicks off £20m digital pitch

Sky has kicked off the official pitch for its £20 million digital media planning and buying account, as exclusively revealed in Campaign (2 November).

The broadcaster split with its incumbent, i-level, last week following months of discussions over the future direction of the account. It is now meeting agencies, including MediaCom, which handles its offline media planning and buying, and Diffiniti, which works on a part of Sky's search marketing business.

Sky appointed i-level to work across its online media business in May 2005, with a brief to help grow subscriber numbers.

In March this year, the broadcaster separated out its search business from the online display media buying account, calling a prolonged pitch which resulted in the appointment of Diffiniti to handle search engine optimisation activity and Unique to work on pay-per-click.

Speculation has surrounded the future of the display media account ever since. The broadcaster is likely to appoint a single agency to handle online display media, and sources suggest it is likely to move the business into an existing roster agency.