Pitch Update: Durex owner opts for monogamy with search for global agency

Durex: works with Havas London in UK
Durex: works with Havas London in UK

Republic of Media, Love Sugar Science, R/GA and Wonderhood Studios have all won new business.

New-Business Rankings

One media agency is quids in this week. See the full tables here. 


The advertising agencies that are hoping to secure a spot on the government's new roster, Campaign Solutions 2, are currently recovering from the mammoth task set them. In addition to an extensive questionnaire, shops had to respond to two briefs – one on smoking and another on international trade – by 21 April. 

When asked about the volume of work required, a Crown Commercial Service spokesperson said: "Campaign Solutions 2 will be used for long-term, end-to-end strategic campaigns. We need to ensure we get the best agencies on the framework to meet the campaign needs of government and the public sector."

Just 12 shops will make it on to Lot 1 of the roster, which covers end-to-end campaign solutions, as opposed to the 26 agencies on the current framework. A result is expected in August.

Ovo Energy saw pitches from Lucky Generals, McCann London and Saatchi & Saatchi London on Wednesday (19 May) in its quest for the perfect creative agency deal. 

It was the media presentations that happened earlier this month, rather than both sets of contests as was previously suggested. Goodstuff Communications, iProspect, OMD UK and Wavemaker will have to keep their renewable batteries charging as the Ovo team decided to postpone its decision on media until after it had seen the creative shops.

AAR is assisting the process. Ovo will definitely be switching suppliers as its incumbent agencies are 20Something and The Specialist Works. The hotly contested review reflects the fact that Ovo is now the second-largest supplier of energy in the UK after buying SSE's household business last year.


Health and household goods giant Reckitt (which recently abandoned its attempt to be known as RB) has called a global ad review of its intimate wellness brands, which include Durex and K-Y. The process is being handled by R3 in New York.

Reckitt is thought to be aiming to find one global ad agency to work on the category. In the UK, Durex works with Havas London, which has created a series of provocative campaigns in the last year aiming to get people talking about topics including vaginal dryness and anal sex.


Republic of Media has won the estimated £3m media planning and buying account for FTSE-100 real estate company Land Securities, the owner of Piccadilly Lights out-of-home site and Blue Water shopping centre. The agency, which is jointly headquartered in Edinburgh and Manchester, won after a three-way pitch against AMS and Walk-In Media. VCCP Media was the incumbent and intermediary Oystercatchers spoke to eight shops at the chemistry stage.

Coventry Building Society has appointed Love Sugar Science to handle media strategy and buying duties on its estimated £3m account after a competitive pitch that began last autumn. Manchester-based Love Sugar Science, which takes over from Carat, will work with creative shop Daughter on a “fresh communications and media approach” for the UK’s second-largest building society.

R/GA London has been appointed digital innovation partner for Vollebak, the self-described "world’s most experimental clothing brand", after a competitive pitch. Vollebak's products include the world’s first graphene Jacket, a plant and algae T-shirt that can biodegrade and a solar-charged puffer for an Arctic winter. This is a new relationship for the brand so there was no incumbent.

SumUp has appointed Wonderhood Studios to launch its 2021 UK brand campaign after a competitive pitch. SumUp is a financial tool that allows small businesses to accept card payments. Wonderhood will immediately get working on an integrated, multichannel campaign. 

Mobile charging and consumer electronics company Anker Innovations has appointed independent agency Space & Time without a pitch to work on its digital media account on a project basis. There is no incumbent.

Merlin Entertainments has appointed Elvis to develop a campaign to promote the Lastminute.com London Eye after a competitive pitch. There was no incumbent. This follows Elvis’ appointment to create a campaign for Merlin brand The Dungeons last year.

Outdoor education and activity provider PGL Travel has appointed Lucky Generals as its advertising agency without a pitch. The Omnicom shop will be briefed with reshaping PGL’s brand messaging, increasing brand awareness and creating an exciting new launch campaign. There was no incumbent. 

NatWest Group has appointed the Interpublic media agency Initiative to its £27m planning and buying account after a competitive pitch. ID Comms supported NatWest Group in the review, which kicked off in January. The appointment covers all the group's brands including RBS, NatWest, Coutts and Ulster Bank.

Initiative staved off competition from Zenith, which has had the business for nine-and-a-half years, and WPP-backed M/SIX.

UN Women’s HeForShe movement has appointed New Macho, BBD Perfect Storm’s male marketing division, to develop the initiative’s upcoming campaign tackling gender inequality after a pitch. The agency has been tasked with developing HeForShe’s upcoming campaign, which focuses on driving more male action through advocacy and partnerships.

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