Pitch Update: BA and Post Office progress search for first-class agencies

BA and Post Office: first class cabin on Boeing 787-9 (BA) and first class stamps (Geography Photos/Getty)
BA and Post Office: first class cabin on Boeing 787-9 (BA) and first class stamps (Geography Photos/Getty)

Channel 4, BHF and Pret a Manger have all launched reviews this week.


British Airways will hold chemistry meetings next week. Parent company International Airlines Group called a review of its global agency relationships in January and currently uses an integrated WPP team, including Ogilvy and Wavemaker, for British Airways’ creative and media. Dentsu’s Carat handles media for Iberia and Vueling.  

Media agencies have submitted final answers to the Post Office in a protracted online pitch process that has involved several rounds of specific questions being lobbed at Carat (the incumbent), MediaCom and Wavemaker. A result is expected on 31 March.


Channel 4 is set to begin reviewing its UK media account for only the second time in the broadcaster’s 39-year history. Omnicom’s OMD UK has handled Channel 4’s media-buying since 1982, when the broadcaster launched as a fourth broadcasting channel and alternative to BBC One, BBC Two and ITV. OMD will be invited to repitch against other agencies for a five-year contract. 

The British Heart Foundation has kicked off a tender process for its lead creative agency. It is working with AAR on the process and MullenLowe, the incumbent since 2014, will repitch. A result is expected in May. The move follows the charity's decision to bring together its fundraising, marketing and communications teams in a new directorate under the leadership of Claire Sadler, appointed in January as executive director of marketing, fundraising and engagement.

Pret a Manger, the coffee and food chain, is seeking a creative agency to handle work covering Europe, Asia and the US. The brand is considering shops focused on “digital creative expertise and end-to-end customer journeys”. There is no incumbent because it is a new brief. The process begins this month, with an appointment expected in May. It is led by chief customer and growth officer Dan Burdett, with help from AAR.


Marks & Spencer Food will handle the creation and production of all advertising assets, including TV ads, in-house in a significant move that means the retailer will switch from a retained to a project-based relationship with ad agency Grey London.

M&S Food said it is in the process of appointing “a core in-house team” of six people and the strategic shift will allow the brand to have more agility and flexibility to work with a broader range of external partners.


Vizeum has won Unicef’s UK media account after the UN humanitarian agency split with The Kite Factory and launched a review last year. MediaLab and Spark Foundry also took part in the process, which was managed by MediaSense. Vizeum is expected to be officially rebadged as iProspect by April, as Dentsu merges the agencies.

Wunderman Thompson has won a competitive pitch to become the global creative agency for Ikea Business. Led from London, the WPP agency will be responsible for Ikea’s B2B loyalty scheme launch campaign, initially in the UK, with a roll out planned across other markets later. The agency's first campaign will be launching the proposition to micro and small business customers, which have been recognised as a growth segment for the brand. There is no incumbent.

Ferrero has appointed MullenLowe London to develop its global Nutella activation, following a pitch run by The Observatory London. The agency will work on "tent-pole occasions" such as Shrove Tuesday and Christmas. The appointment does not affect Nutella’s relationship with existing agencies, which include Havas-owned BETC's Providence arm in Europe and Publicis Groupe in Asia. 

Just Eat Takeaway.com has selected Dark Horses to handle the activation of its global sponsorship of Uefa Euro 2020 following a competitive pitch. Dark Horses also recently picked up the account for TikTok’s sponsorship of the tournament. Just Eat is also reviewing its global creative agency relationship.

Red Brick Road has been appointed by global art materials brand Derwent after a competitive pitch process managed in-house its global marketing team. The agency has been commissioned to evolve the global brand positioning, including creating a replacement for the brand line “Drawn to perfection”. There was no incumbent.

Mambu, a cloud-native core banking platform, has appointed Forever Beta as its first global brand and creative agency, following a competitive pitch. Forever Beta will work on the brand creative strategy and identity, helping Mambu expand its reach globally.

Hearts & Minds has been appointed by Luxury Cottages as the brand’s first creative agency. Luxury Cottages is a new entrant in the UK travel sector, providing luxury properties and concierge services for domestic holiday homes. The agency was appointed without a pitch.

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