Whitbread appoints UM to Premier Inn media and retains Zenith on Costa

Whitbread has reappointed Zenith to handle its Costa Coffee media planning and buying account and awarded its Premier Inn media business to UM, with the latter succeeding Manning Gottlieb OMD.

Costa: retained Zenith
Costa: retained Zenith

The group had initially planned on selecting a single agency to handle both brands' consolidated media planning and buying, but after a pitch decided to keep the brands separate.

UM's clinching of Premier Inn's media strategy, planning and buying saw it beat challengers Wavemaker, the7stars and Zenith. The agency will be working with the hotel group from next month across its online and offline media strategy.

Meanwhile, Zenith retains its hold on the Costa account, extending a long-term relationship with the brand that harks back to 2009. Zenith and Costa have worked on a number of innovations, including a partnership with Waze that uses geo-targeting for Costa Express.

Eric Tavoukdjian, Costa Coffee UK&I's commercial marketing director, said: "During the pitch process, their commitment to taking our media plans to the next level was evident and so we’re delighted to continue our relationship with them as we move our brand ahead in this competitive market."

Beatrice Vears, Premier Inn's head of brand, added: "UM’s values are a great match with ours and their ideas and approach were creative and exciting. We’re very much looking forward to starting this new journey with them.

"I should like to thank Manning Gottlieb OMD for their excellent service over recent years and recognise the important part their team has played in supporting the Premier Inn brand’s fantastic growth in the UK."