The Week: BT awards Mediaedge:cia £5m planning account

BT has performed a U-turn on its decision to handle media planning in-house and has handed its £5 million planning account to Mediaedge:cia.

The telecoms giant terminated its ten-year relationship with the previous incumbent, PHD, a year ago (Campaign, 17 August 2006) amid concerns over conflict with PHD's Yell and Pipex accounts.

PHD had tried to resolve the conflict by moving the BT business into a unit at its sister agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, but the parties subsequently terminated the relationship by "mutual agreement".

BT then set up its own in-house planning division, later poaching two PHD senior executives, Stuart Bowden and Allison Grainger, to head up the department.

It is understood that Bowden and Grainger will continue to be employed by BT, and they will work alongside Mediaedge:cia to develop the media planning strategy.

The appointment will not affect the company's media buying account, which is held by Starcom, or the advertising business, which is handled by AMV.

Neither BT nor Mediaedge:cia were available to comment as Campaign went to press.