Computer World gives Cheetham Bell ad role

Computer World has picked Manchester's Cheetham Bell JWT to handle its £11.2 million creative account as a prelude to a name change by the retail chain.

It has decided to re-christen itself as The Computer Shop. The switch is understood to have been agreed in order to avoid confusion among consumers with its biggest rival, the Dixons-owned PC World.

The appointment follows a pitch against BDH\TBWA and the Publicity Bureau in Doncaster, which had held the business for little more than a year.

The 150-strong chain was established after Time Computer's acquisition of its rival Tiny at the beginning of last year. The stores sell both companies' products.

However, Computer World has struggled to be an effective rival to PC World, which spends more than £25 million a year through M&C Saatchi and Walker Media.

Observers claim Computer World has not only failed to spend sufficiently to compete, but has been hampered by a confused marketing strategy.

Insiders cite Time's background in direct selling for its difficulty in getting to grips with retailing. At the same time, the chain has found it hard to match PC World's shrewd pricing strategy.

There is also a widespread belief that the stores' offering is not as appealing as that of PC World, where customers can choose their computers and take them away immediately.

Time, the UK's biggest mail-order PC company, has begun and ended a succession of agency relationships in recent years and has had periods of producing its creative work in-house.

BDH\TBWA handled the Time account before it moved to the then HHCL & Partners three years ago following a pitch which also involved BMP DDB and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

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