Pitch Update: LV= seeks media agency after split with Initiative

Reviews: LV=, Sm,art Energy GB, The British Library and Gucci owner Kering are all seeking agencies
Reviews: LV=, Sm,art Energy GB, The British Library and Gucci owner Kering are all seeking agencies

Ribena's pitch, meanwhile, has been hit by Covid complications.


LV= General Insurance is on the hunt for a new media agency after it agreed to part ways with incumbent Initiative when the current contract expires in December. The IPG Mediabrands agency won the £20m account in 2018 in a pitch against Vizeum, Mindshare and the7stars, replacing Carat, which had held the business for a decade.

LV= has begun a review and said it plans to make an appointment towards the end of the year. The move follows the brand’s recent decision to bring digital capabilities in-house.

Jon Mansley, sales and marketing director at LV=, said: “We have a great working relationship with Initiative and they have helped us deliver some excellent projects and campaigns. I’d like to thank Initiative for everything they’ve done for us and wish them all the best for the future.”

Richard Morris, chief executive of Mediabrands UK, added he was proud of the “incredible return on media investment we have created” for LV=. 

Smart Energy GB, the government-backed campaign to encourage take-up of smart energy meters, has called a strategic review of its media planning and buying. The review is through MediaSense. PHD, the incumbent on the business, is repitching. Pitches are expected to take place in October, with a result due in November.

French luxury conglomerate Kering Group, which owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent brands, has kicked off a global agency review. The review, which is in its early stages, spans media planning and buying across all Kering Group’s brands and markets, with a focus on innovation and digital. The account is currently with Publicis media shop Zenith, which is expected to defend. 

According to Comvergence, Kering spent $139.5m on media globally in 2020. But sources put the actual figure much higher, closer to the €480m ($566m) globally. The review is being led by R3, which was unavailable for comment.

The British Library is seeking an agency to develop a new brand for a mobile-first digital platform that will “exude love and enthusiasm for the fundamental idea of a public library”. The maximum value of the brief is £100,000, which will cover the development of the name and associated domain address, the visual and verbal identity, and brand guidelines, including vision, mission and values.

Interested agencies should complete a Selection Questionnaire by 12 noon on 15 August 2021. Selected agencies will be invited to meet the British Library project team in September or October, followed by pitches to a panel of key stakeholders. More details can be found here.

Ongoing pitches

Ribena is understood to have swapped more virtual meetings into its advertising pitch – after Covid and Covid-related isolation requirements hit the agencies involved.

Helen Passard, head of Ribena, said: “We’re running this pitch process at a time where Covid-19 is still very much present in the UK and so had always planned for pitches to be a mix of in-person and virtual meetings.

“This shift to a hybrid set-up hasn’t been problematic at all and the phenomenal agencies we’ve met with have been practical, agile and supportive as we work through the challenges together.

“We’re really happy with the process and feel strongly that we’ve the right platform to select the very best agency.”

Facebook’s relationship with Mindshare looks set to come to an end after the WPP-owned agency pulled out of the tech giant’s global media agency review.

Dentsu, which is also an incumbent for Facebook, remains in contention along with Havas Group and Publicis Groupe, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first broke the news that WPP’s media-buying arm, Group M, was pulling out of the review.


Carat has retained the European media planning and buying business for dairy company Arla. The Dentsu agency won its current remit in 2015, adding the German business, which had previously been with OMD, to its existing scope covering Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the UK, Greece, Poland, Russia, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain. Arla’s brands include Lurpak butter and Castello cheese.

Havas has been selected as the global brand and creative agency of record for JLL, a global commercial real estate firm based in the UK. The account was awarded after a competitive pitch, run by Flock Associates, and included “several leading global brand and creative agencies”. Dentsu-owned Gyro was the incumbent, appointed in 2018.

Lucky Generals has been appointed without a pitch to build a brand platform for styling and haircare brand Bed Head by Tigi, with a brief to broaden the brand’s appeal beyond its core audience. There is no incumbent.

Betting brand Ladbrokes has appointed Neverland as its retained lead creative agency, after previously hiring the shop for its Euro 2020 campaign. Neverland succeeds Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which has held the combined Ladbrokes Coral account since 2019. Publicis Groupe-owned BBH is set to continue to work on Coral.

The Film and TV Charity has appointed 23red to launch a 12-month campaign as part of its ongoing work to address the mental health emergency in the film, TV and cinema industry. The appointments follows a competitive process launched in April. 23red will deliver behaviour change, communications and media planning services for the campaign, which coincides with the second year of the charity’s Whole Picture Programme, the industry-funded response to the mental health emergency uncovered in The Looking Glass Survey in 2019.

Creative studio Ourselves has been appointed to create a global ad campaign for tech company Brightstar, which repairs and recycles most of the world’s mobile devices on behalf of manufacturers. Ourselves was appointed without a pitch after carrying out several assignments for Brightstar. The agency was originally approached by the brand after a recommendation. Breaking in mid-August, the campaign will aim to boost awareness of the brand and highlight its role in mobile connectivity.

A trio of agencies has been appointed to deliver a major recovery campaign for Sheffield. Sheffield’s Front and Salt Street Productions, along with Leeds-based Ilk, will work to promote the Yorkshire city as a destination for domestic tourism under the slogan “The outdoor city” – a reference to Sheffield’s high proportion of green space and location next to the Peak District national park. Front will deliver the creative for the campaign, Salt Street photography and videography, and Ilk PR and media.


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