Pitch Update: Summer holiday plans under threat for agencies in IAG pitch

BA: recent campaign by Ogilvy featured crew members with a spring in their step
BA: recent campaign by Ogilvy featured crew members with a spring in their step

Media agencies get ready for a carb fest as Ginsters and Soreen owner Samworth Brothers calls review.

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British Airways owner IAG could be heading for a second round of pitches in July. The group began its first stage of pitches with the BA creative business in late May, followed by the combined media account, then the creative for Vueling, in early June. WPP –  the incumbent on BA media and creative – along with Omnicom, Interpublic, Havas and Dentsu are all involved to different degrees. Uncommon Creative Studio has also met IAG marketers.


It will be pre-packaged snacks all round for the shops pitching to food company Samworth Brothers, which has called a review of its media account. The manufacturer currently works with a selection of independent planning and buying shops, including Goodstuff Communications on malt loaf brand Soreen and John Ayling & Associates on pasty brand Ginsters. Others owned by Samworth Brothers include sandwich brand Urban Eat.

Creative agencies on the government roster are preparing for a likely pitch for the next stage of communications on the national response to Covid-19, after MullenLowe London’s contract ran out. The Interpublic agency was appointed last April on a six-month contract, with an option to extend for a further six months. Once the 12 months were up, the government was required to stop working with MullenLowe. At this point, responsibility for creating Covid campaigns was handed on an interim basis to Engine, which is contracted as the government’s standby agency. Campaign understands there will be a pitch for another fixed contract, but the government declined to say when this would take place.

EO Charging, a UK-based electric vehicle charging company founded in 2015, is searching for new creative and media agencies as it aims to expand on its rapid growth of the past few years. The brand, founded by entrepreneur Charlie Jardine, is working with Ingenuity on the process and has drawn up intriguing shortlists in both disciplines. 

Four agencies with very different profiles – Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Mother, independent shop Impero and Deloitte-owned Acne – are in contention for EO’s creative business. Two of the key representatives of the newer generation of digitally focused media agencies, Brainlabs and Croud, will go head to head for the media account.


UKTV has awarded its eight-figure media planning and buying account to Havas Entertainment following a review launched in February. The agency replaces the incumbent, Omnicom’s Hearts & Science; its predecessor Rocket won the business in 2008. Starcom and Total Media were also among those vying for the new contract, which will begin in July.

Center Parcs has appointed Brothers & Sisters to lead its creative marketing account after a competitive pitch process. The brand and agency had previously worked together between 2013 and 2017, when Center Parcs handed the account to Y&R London – now part of VMLY&R, which has remained the incumbent.

Publicis Media has won the media strategy, planning and buying account for Swiss chocolate giant Lindt & Sprüngli across Europe following a competitive pitch. It is thought the appointment is a consolidation covering about a dozen markets, including the UK, and is worth as much as 100m euros (£86m). Several agencies, including Dentsu and WPP, also held the account in various markets across Europe.

Starcom has been appointed to handle TV media buying for online fashion marketplace Vinted in the UK. Following a competitive process, the Publicis Media agency was chosen to help Vinted drive app downloads, increase product listings and ultimately grow its 18 to 34-year UK community, through its TV advertising buys. VCCP was the incumbent agency.

After a competitive pitch process, online estate agent Strike has appointed Brothers & Sisters to lead its creative account. The agency will be tasked with creating a new brand idea and ad campaign for Strike to run across TV and multiple channels, with an objective to challenge Purplebricks’ place as the “UK’s leading online estate agency”. The previous incumbent was 20something.

OMD UK has been appointed by visual communications platform Canva as its UK media partner of choice, following a closed pitch. Canva’s UK media account is worth £7m. OMD UK will handle the brand’s media launch into the UK market and will be responsible for media strategy, planning and buying. There is no incumbent.

Swyft Home, the furniture design start-up, has appointed 20something as its lead creative partner to drive brand growth in the UK, following a competitive pitch. As the brand’s first ATL creative partner, 20something will be responsible for all elements of brand strategy, including all platform and above the line executions, social and press activity, as well as creating the brand’s first TV work. 

After a competitive three-way pitch, Ambassador Cruise Line – set to be the UK’s first new cruise line in more than a decade – has appointed travel marketing agency Accord Marketing as its full-service agency. Accord will work with Ambassador to develop their brand and shape their corporate identity, before launching a multichannel marketing campaign ahead of an operational launch in April/May 2022.

Vegetarian Express, a specialist vegetarian and vegan food supplier to chefs, has appointed Krow Group as lead digital agency as it expands with a direct-to-consumer offer for the first time in its 30-plus years of operation. Krow won the business without a pitch and there was no incumbent.

Pitch has been appointed after a competitive pitch by Meantime Brewing Company, part of Asahi Group, to create a branded content series to be released later this year. There was no immediate incumbent.

Manchester-based creative agency Young, Bright and Grey has been appointed by Wakelet, a tech scale-up also based in the city, without a pitch. There was no incumbent. 

Snap London has been appointed without a pitch to handle the creative for PartyCasino and PartyPoker’s multiyear partnership with McLaren Racing. There is no incumbent.

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