Yahoo! is reviewing its £25 million pan-European media
account out of Optimedia after four years with the agency.
The internet search engine has been in contact with networks with a view
to getting a review under way in the next few weeks. The move follows a
shake-up of Yahoo!'s European management in February this year, with Fru
Hazlitt taking over as the sales and marketing director and the UK
marketing chief, Catherine Taylor, becoming the European marketing
Yahoo! has concentrated much of its 2001 marketing budget on sponsorship
in the UK, supporting the nightly Channel 5 movie with a series of
eccentric gerbil idents by HHCL & Partners. It has continued to run TV
campaigns across Europe, promoting features such as Yahoo! Mail.
The review will not affect Yahoo!'s US business, which is currently held
by Initiative's Los Angeles office. The European and US accounts will
remain separate despite the mooting of a global media consolidation by
the international marketing director, LJ Kim, in January.
European creative for Yahoo! will continue to be developed in the US by
the San Francisco-based Black Rocket agency. The work is currently
adapted by agencies within local markets, with only HHCL & Partners
producing its own work on the account.
Yahoo! is one of the few profitable dotcom organisations. However, the
company has had a turbulent last 12 months. Tim Koogle, the high-profile
chief executive of Yahoo!, and the European managing director, Fabiola
Arrendondo, both stepped down in March after forecasts for first quarter
earnings were lowered significantly.