The long-awaited decision on the future of the eir creative account, including Meteor, is expected to be made within the next two weeks following a protracted period which has seen the contenders whittled down to just two – believed to be the incumbent, DDFH&B and the London agency Snap.
Due to existing client conflicts, a number of other Dublin agencies were unable to pitch for the business, forcing the company to look to outside of Ireland, a move which raised eye-brows in adland. As a result, two London-based agencies – Host and Snap – were asked to throw their hats into the ring.
Host is a relatively new agency and forms part of Chime Communications which was set up in 1989 by Timothy Bell, a former media advisor to Margaret Thatcher. Although initially concentrating on sports marketing, the firm expanded into mainstream marketing services including public relations and advertising. In 2015 it was bought out for £374m by WPP and Providence Equity Partners. At some stage in the future, WPP is likely to buy out Providence’s stake in the business.
If the account is awarded to a London agency, it is likely cause considerable consternation within the Irish advertising industry given the company’s brand positioning amongst consumers and businesses. Similar consternation was expressed with the Aer Lingus creative account was awarded to the Dutch – headquartered agency Kessel Kramer two years ago. According to some industry sources, however, the airline may seek to put the account out to pitch again later this year.