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McCann Erickson poised to win London Olympics bid

LONDON - McCann Erickson is set to scoop the London 2012 Olympics account, fending off competition from WPP Group, according to a report.

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McCann Erickson, which is owned by New York-based Interpublic Group, is expected to be unveiled as the agency that will handle London 2012's advertising, promotion, public relations and digital communications over the next three and a half years, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The agency will take over the account from Chime Communications, which held a one-year contract for London 2012's marketing in the run up to the handover ceremony at the Beijing Olympics.

It is understood that Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP lost out to McCann Erickson because WPP was unwilling to split the tender for marketing from the tender for market research, which is being awarded separately.

McCann Erickson will not be paid a fee for its work, as bidders were invited to say how much they were prepared to pay for the right to market the Games, which is thought to have deterred other major agencies from pitching.

McCann will pay around £10m in service-in-kind in return for which it becomes an official sponsor of the Games. WPP's in-kind offer is understood to have fallen well short of this figure.

McCann Erickson said that the bid to promote the Games was still ongoing. WPP declined to comment.

A spokeswoman from Locog said the organisation does not comment on sponsorship deals and an announcement will be made when the deal has been completed.

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