BMP4 is bracing itself for a fight to hold on to the Marks &
Spencer advertising account after the high street retailer announced
this week that it is quadrupling its adspend to pounds 20 million this
M&S is expected to look outside its existing roster, which includes WWAV
Rapp Collins on its financial services business and McCann-Erickson on
its food range, in the search for an agency to handle a new
The increased advertising budget is part of a wholesale review of
strategy as M&S attempts to catch up with high street rivals such as
Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Both BMP4 and M&S refused to comment on the
It is thought that M&S is still looking to expand its marketing
department and may recruit a senior marketer with a tried and tested
James Benfield, the current marketing director, was promoted to the role
last year and is behind the company’s new advertising push.
The retail giant has suffered falling profits and has already used
advertising in an attempt to reverse the decline. Its first television
campaign, by McCann-Erickson, aired at Christmas.
Before a new campaign is finalised, however, M&S is concentrating on
getting its product right.
Recent moves towards attracting younger, more fashionable customers by
recruiting top designers to create trendy clothes ranges have alienated
the store’s core customers. The autumn ranges are expected to appeal to
a slightly older audience, with more colourful and co-ordinated clothing
on sale. Top designers will still be used and M&S hopes to be able to
put some of the names in its advertising campaigns.
Meanwhile, BMP4 is launching a campaign to mark the launch of M&S’s
Covent Garden store, which opens next week selling food, lingerie,
ladieswear and a bureau de change.
The press and poster work, planned and bought by BMP OMD to appear in
non-traditional sites around Covent Garden underground station, plays on
the store’s location with lines like: ’New season’s fashions discovered
in Garden’ and ’Covent Garden. The stage is set.’