BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has appointed ZenithOptimedia as its sole global media agency to handle media planning and buying for the UK and international markets.
The client spends approximately $50 million annually on measured media worldwide, according to sources. In the U.S., the U.K.-based media company spent $6 million on ads in 2007 and $3 million last year.
Others participating in the review included WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia and Maxus.
ZenithOptimedia will help deliver media campaigns around BBC Worldwide's key brands such as Top Gear, BBC America, BBC Knowledge, Planet Earth and Doctor Who.
Director of marketing for BBC Worldwide Helen Kellie said in a statement: ''Through this partnership we aim to focus on building greater awareness, presence and revenues for the BBC and our unique portfolio of brands around the world.''
Optimedia will handle the U.S. portion of the account. Antony Young, the shop's US CEO, said in a statement that the BBC's assets have "built some tremendous momentum recently in the U.S. and we look forward to helping them take things to the next level."
In the U.S., Optimedia will focus on strategies and campaigns for the cable channel BBC America, BBC.com and global brands including BBC Earth, Top Gear, Doctor Who as well as the newscast BBC World News America.
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation. BBC Worldwide, America, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, manages BBC Worldwide's businesses in the U.S.