Comparethemarket has called a pitch of its UK planning and buying account, putting WPP’s Wavemarker on alert.
Mark Vile, chief marketing officer at Comparethemarket, is running the review with AAR’s assistance.
Comparethemarket ended its sponsorship of ITV’s Coronation Street in late 2020 after eight years. When it first signed up to sponsor the long-running soap the deal was estimated to be worth £10m a year and described as the biggest of its kind in the industry.
In May 2020 Wavemaker brought the three remaining members of Take That and Robbie Williams together with the Meerkat characters for a virtual concert to “lift the nation’s spirits” amid the Covid pandemic.
The review does not affect Comparethemarket’s other agencies, including VCCP on advertising and Havas Helia on CRM.
Wavemaker's predecessor, MEC, won the business after Comparethemarket’s parent BGL Group held a European pitch in 2014. At the time, the UK portion of the account was estimated to be worth £60m a year.
Comparethemarket appointed VCCP in March 2007 and retained the agency the following year, after which it created the long-standing (and successful) meerkat characters. Havas Helia won the site’s CRM in 2019.
BGL Group also owns the insurance brand Beagle Street and the French comparison site Les Furets.com.
A BGL Group spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we are running a tender process through AAR for media agency review. Media strategy is critical for our business and with significant changes to the digital landscape and use of data in recent years, it is the right time to review our media agency support.
"We have a strong relationship with our current partner, Wavemaker, who we have worked with since 2014. Wavemaker is part of the pitch process.”