The UK’s biggest credit card brand, Visa International, has handed CIA
Medianetwork its pounds 31m media account with plans for a heavier spend
in the European market.
The win is also a major boost for CIA, which has had a miserable few
months because of its high-profile dispute with Laser Sales over
undelivered ad revenue.
Visa’s media buying has been with Zenith since 1993, when the Visa Delta
brand was launched.
The media account in the UK is expected to be worth around pounds 8m in
the next year, significantly more than this year, when just over pounds
2m has been spent.
Visa is expected to gear up its advertising as its duopoly in the UK
with MasterCard is threatened by the recent deal between NatWest and
American Express (see Analysis, page 13).
Peter Halliday, a spokesman for Visa International, said that the
creative was not up for pitch and remains with Saatchi & Saatchi, but
confirmed that the future of Mel Smith’s ‘Kerching’ campaign, voted the
second most irritating ad in Marketing’s November survey, was uncertain.
He said: ‘Whether we use it again depends on how it researches. If it is
working it will come back, if it isn’t, it will not.’
CIA won following a pitch with incumbent Zenith, MediaCom and
Initiative. The pitch was overseen by media auditors Fairbrother White
and Media Audits.
Mike Anderson, marketing director of CIA Medianetwork, said: ‘Given that
we have been in a bit of a public bust-up, this is an exceptionally good