Publicis Groupe tightens hold on giant BT UK account

Publicis Groupe has tightened its hold on the BT UK business, CRM moving to Digitas from WPP’s Wunderman Thompson with fellow Publicis agency Saatchi & Saatchi picking up BT Sport business, both without a pitch. Saatchi handles BT’s main consumer account and its mobile network EE.

Publicis hasn’t said anything officially (which is most unlike Publicis which is usually more than happy to remind us of the ‘Power of One.’) Wunderman Thompson says: “We’ve had the pleasure to work with BT on some brilliant campaigns, resulting in over 80 awards including a prestigious Cannes Lions for the BT Sport ‘Unscripted’ campaign.

“We continue to work with BT across the BT Global and Enterprise divisions on integrated creative, data and technology briefs.”

BT and EE comprise one of the UK’s biggest, more complex and hitherto loyal advertisers, the consumer account staying with AMV BBDO as that agency grew to be the UK’s biggest by billings. AMV rather lost its mojo when it moved from its treasured Marylebone Road HQ to a vast new Omnicom complex on London’s South Bank but may still have BT ambitions. It hired Sam Hawkey from Saatchi as its new CEO recently. Hawkey, though, has some restructuring to do.

BT’s media is with WPP’s Essence, formerly Maxus in the UK. Essence is now part of a new GroupM construct EssenceMediacom, combining the digital media specialist with the UK’s biggest buying shop. Such reshuffles can unsettle clients, as both WPP and Publicis will be aware.

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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.

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