BANKWEST hands media to host, ikon

By AdNews | 30 January 2009
Independent creative agency Host has added media to its services in a move that has helped it snatch strategic planning duties on BankWest’s $18 million media account. Host is set to launch Bring, its media communications unit, on 1 February, kicking off with four existing Host clients representing about $35 million in media spend, including BankWest. Bring is headed by client service director Simon Pugh, who joins from ZenithOptimedia, where he managed the News Corporation account. BankWest chief marketing officer David Morgan said: “Having planning and creative served by the same team clearly gives you a higher quality of results. “If you manage full service correctly, you increase value and quality and, by the way, you get the cost effectiveness as well. Gaining in quality gains you in the millions. Cost only saves you tens of thousands.” As with Host’s creative business, which outsources creative duties for individual clients, Bring will select a media buying partner based on each client’s needs. Ikon will handle buying on the BankWest account, dislodging incumbent Starcom MediaVest. Ikon also handles media buying for Commonwealth Bank, which bought BankWest for $2.1 billion in October 2008. Media buying for the two banks totals about $45.6 million, according to Nielsen AIS. Morgan said while BankWest remained an autonomous brand in the marketplace, “with CBA buying BankWest, there’s an enormous opportunity to move forward in terms of scale”. Ikon MD Dan Johns added the move would “turn the Commonwealth Bank group into a significant force when it comes to negotiations”. Host chief executive Anthony Freedman said the decision to launch Bring resulted from clients expressing interest in “finding ways to bring media thinking closer to the rest of our strategic development”. Freedman said the launch of Bring raised “the opportunity for us to be able to manage the way our campaigns are delivered, not just developed”. While media buying is not currently planned, Freedman would not rule it out for the future. Host clients include Virgin Mobile, Ikea, Australian Vintage, and Air New Zealand.

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