Harveys moves £16m media account from Starcom to Walker

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Harveys: planning and buying account move
Harveys: planning and buying account move

Harveys, the Steinhoff-owned furniture store, is to move its £16m media planning and buying account from Starcom MediaVest Group to Walker Media less than one month after denying it was planning to review the business.

Following a review of its agency relationships, Harveys has appointed Walker Media to its media planning and buying and search accounts and hired Ogilvy Neo to handle its social media.

It is understood that Starcom MediaVest Group and Walker Media were informed of the decision this morning and the move will end Starcom’s eight-year relationship with the Steinhoff-owned brand.

According to figures from The Nielsen Company, Harveys spent £16m on media in the 12 months to the end of June 2012.

It is thought that Rathbone Media, which has the account for Steinhoff-owned Bensons Beds, was also involved in the process. The Bensons Beds account was not included in the process.

A spokesman for Harveys denied industry speculation that the decision to move its media account was related to how Starcom MediaVest handled the end of its £10m-a-year sponsorship of 'Coronation Street', which it announced in April.

In July a spokeswoman for Harveys confirmed it was looking to appoint agencies to work on its digital business but said although there was an annual review of its relationship with Starcom MediaVest the account would not move.

Starcom MediaVest was appointed to the Harveys account after a pitch against Carat, ZenithOptimedia and Manning Gottlieb OMD in April 2004, prior to which Rathbone Media was the incumbent.

Harveys appointed Hurrell Moseley Dawson and Grimmer to its creative account in June 2011 in a bid to develop more creative and planning-led advertising in the face of competition from rivals.

The appointment follows a change in senior management at Harveys. David O'Connor joined the retailer as commercial director in January this year and former Dixons director Stephen Campbell, who worked with Walker Media at PC World, joined as managing director in 2011.

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