Pitch update: Ovo Energy shortlists quartets of media and creative agencies

Ovo Energy: shortlisted agencies
Ovo Energy: shortlisted agencies

Zenith is defending its £63m Nestle business against competition from Initiative, Dentsu X and WPP outfit Openmind.


Ovo Energy has shortlisted agencies for its concurrent creative and media reviews, after having briefed prospective shops this week.

The ad shops hoping to fire up the marketers include Lucky Generals, McCann London, M&C Saatchi and Saatchi & Saatchi. Lucky Generals won Ovo's sister energy provider SSE Energy Services (formerly the domestic retail arm of SSE) last month following a separate process.

The independent media agency Goodstuff Communications, Dentsu's iProspect, Omnicom's OMD UK, and WPP's Wavemaker will be hoping to get Ovo to switch to them for media. Pitch dates have been set for 11 and 12 May and AAR is assisting the process.

The incumbent agencies are 20Something and The Specialist Works.  

There will be lots of late-night snacking at the homes of media executives involved in the final Nestlé pitch presentations next week. Zenith, the incumbent, is defending the £63m UK media account and will be hoping the treats on offer from UM, Dentsu X and Openmind (a WPP multi-agency team made up of people from Mindshare, Wunderman Thompson and Neo) will not tempt the marketers away.

A result had been expected for the Post Office’s long-running media review on 31 March, but – much like the customers outside their shops at lunchtime – the competing agencies were still waiting as Pitch Update went to press this morning. The reason being: a company secretary needed to “ratify the decision”, according to one source familiar with the review.

Carat (the planning incumbent), MediaCom and Wavemaker remain on tenterhooks after the review was first called 11 months ago. Manning Gottlieb OMD handles the buying.


Volkswagen has appointed Havas CX London as its retained CRM partner following a competitive and protracted pitch process involving the incumbent Rapp. The agency will work with VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Cupra, VW Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Financial Services.

While Havas CX London (a UK office of Havas CX global network) won the business, the account will be led by London-based agency Havas CX Helia, with talent pulled in from across the network where needed. Rapp (formerly Proximity) will help transition the account during May and June. 

Purplebricks has appointed UM as its new media agency of record. The IPG shop triumphed against competition from Goodstuff Communications and Wavemaker, the incumbent. It is not known whether shops were asked for "best and final" bids. Manning Gottlieb OMD and the7stars were involved at an earlier stage of the process, which was run with MediaSense.

Ben Carter, Purplebricks’ chief marketing officer, said: “UM demonstrated very strong strategic thinking throughout what was a very competitive process and we were particularly impressed with their local marketing capabilities – and are looking forward to working closely with them to help transform our marketing.” 

Personalised weight loss services company Slimming Clinic has appointed Bountiful Cow to its UK media planning and buying business without a pitch. Bountiful Cow has recently done some slimming of its own.

Clear Channel has appointed the digital marketing agency Climb Online to boost its local outdoor advertising sales. Climb Online will use SEO, paid media, social media, analytics and conversion rate optimisation to encourage SMEs and public sector organisations to advertise through the local Clear Channel Direct offering,

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