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HMV shortlists four for £24m consolidated media account

LONDON - HMV Group has shortlisted incumbents Omnicom's PHD and OMD along with Publicis-owned Starcom and WPP agency MediaCom to compete for its £24m media planning and buying account.

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OMD UK currently handles the £19m HMV business, while its sister agency PHD oversees the £5m Waterstone's brief.

The troubled retailer is conducting the review with the intention of consolidating its main HMV account with its Waterstone's business.

Graham Sim the marketing director at HMV is understood to be overseeing the review process, but has not appointed an intermediary pitch agency.

Although he would not name the other agencies competing for the account, a spokesman for HMV said: "A shortlist of agencies has been compiled, including the two incumbent agencies -- OMD UK and PHD, both of whom have been invited to pitch for the new, combined account. An announcement regarding the selection of the successful agency will be made in due course, but is likely to be by Easter."

The media review follows financial results from HMV showing a first-half loss of £31.8m.

In December, HMV issued a warning that its Christmas sales would be lower than expected, owing to a weak music chart and competition from music file downloading. However, in the five weeks to January 6, the retailer did manage to improve group sales by 10.3%.

Last year, HMV held a creative review that added Quiet Storm to its roster. The agency created a brand campaign that ran last autumn.

The agency Beechwood also works on creative projects for the retailer.

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