[London] Royal Mail's $65 million U.K. account, which left Cordiant Communications Group's Bates UK last month, looks set to go to an Omnicom consortium led by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
with sibling agencies Proximity London and Wolff Olins. The Omnicom pitch has beaten rival bids from Grey Worldwide London and Grey's direct-marketing unit Joshua; M&C Saatchi, Saatchi Village & Lida; and J. Walter Thompson. Bates UK lost the business, representing more than 15% of the U.K. agency's income, because its integrated offering was not strong enough. The postal carrier has had a turbulent time recently, first derided for changing its name to Consignia in March 2001 at a cost of $1.8 million; then for changing the name back to the Royal Mail Group, spending a further $1.6 million.