O2 awards DM business to Lida

Mobile giant O2 has handed its direct marketing account to Lida, bringing the curtain down on Archibald Ingall Stretton’s eight years on the business.
In what was one of the most hotly anticipated DM reviews – the account having been the catalyst for major growth at AIS – Lida beat the incumbent and EHS 4D in a final three-way shoot-out, managed by the AAR.
With VCCP handling O2’s advertising account, it was expected that Stephens Francis Whitson would put in a strong showing, although it is understood that the agency declined to pitch. Partners Andrews Aldridge and 20:20 were knocked out at an earlier stage.
AIS had survived at least three previous internal reviews of the account, although the writing had appeared on the wall following the publication of this year’s DMA Awards shortlist. The agency, which had won numerous gongs for its work for the mobile firm, did not have a single entry for the client. Last year, AIS swept the board with its work for O2’s sponsorship for the England rugby team.
Lida will take over the three-year contract from January 2012.
O2 customer and marketing director Sally Cowdry said: “As our business evolves and customer relationships become ever more important, we need to ensure we are working with best partners in the industry to continue to deliver ground-breaking digital activity. We are looking forward to working together with Lida to deliver a fresh and exciting approach to our below the line marketing activity.”

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