Chime star VCCP lands £20m Easyjet – or is that £50m?

When former Guardian Media Group boss Carolyn McCall took over as CEO of budget airline Easyjet it seemed likely that the no-frills carrier might travel along the conventional branding route and that became more likely when she recruited Peter Duffy from Audi as her new marketing director.

Duffy subsequently appointed Chime-owned social media specialist Icon to handle Easyjet advertising (or whatever it was going to be) which was a bit baffling but things have become much more clear with the appointment of Chime’s rapidly-growing ad agency VCCP to handle a pan-European marketing campaign worth up to a reported £50m.

Quite how much of this will be on the headline TV campaign set to break in October is anyone’s guess (but it looks like there might be something left over for Icon). Easyjet’s ad budget has traditionally hovered around the £20m mark.

But it’s still a coup for VCCP (which recently won Carling from Beattie McGuinness Bungay), Chime and, very possibly, Icon.

Lord Bell’s Chime paid £30m for VCCP a few years ago (including earn-outs), a deal that looked decidedly toppy at the time, especially considering that Chime was still sporting the scars of its disastrous deal to buy HHCL.

But his Lordship’s judgement has been vindicated with VCCP surfing on the success of its Meerkats campaign to produce more good work for insurance firm More Than and Coors Light and contributing £2.4m to Chime’s recently-announced £12.7m half-year profits.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.