- The marketing director of the UK retail chain, Marks & Spencer, announced yesterday that a doubling of the store's advertising budget to £20 million was key to reviving the company's flagging fortunes.
James Benfield, who is newly appointed to the marketing directors role, said the group will run its first ever national television brand advertising campaign later this year.
To date the company has used very little brand advertising and has instead relied largely on tactical promotions. M&S spent £4.7 million on advertising last year, compared with a spend of £20-£30 million by supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Safeway.
It uses McCann-Erickson for its food products, BMP4 for its fashion and cosmetics brands and WWAV Rapp Collins for its financial services advertising.
It is unclear whether the campaign would by handled by one of its existing agencies or will go out to pitch. Most recently, M&S ran a tactical TV campaign over Christmas in a bid to shore up flagging sales.
In November, Peter Salsbury, the newly appointed chief executive of Mark & Spencer, admitted: "It's not that people don't like what we're selling. But what we haven't done is get the message across. There are an awful lot of people who love us for our knickers, but they don't love our home furnishings because they don't even know they are there."