Courts set to ditch CDP’s Forsyth ads

Entertainer Bruce Forsyth’s days as the face of the downmarket furniture retailer, Courts, could be numbered, as the chain’s pounds 13 million creative advertising account comes under review for the third time in six years.

Entertainer Bruce Forsyth’s days as the face of the downmarket

furniture retailer, Courts, could be numbered, as the chain’s pounds 13

million creative advertising account comes under review for the third

time in six years.



Courts has selected six agencies for an initial round of discussions

about the advertising, and this will be whittled down to three shops

over the next few days. Formal pitches are scheduled to take place early

in April.



The Courts marketing director, Chris Coote, would not be drawn on

whether Forsyth - the brainchild of the incumbent agency, CDP - would

survive the agency review. ’We are not necessarily going to move away

from Bruce,’ he said. ’We will explore all options.’ This could mean

staying with him, changing him or ’refreshing him,’ Coote added.



However, speculation is rife that the Forsyth campaign will be

ditched.



Coote is known to favour using the same theme for both television and

press work but under current contractual agreements, Forsyth does not

allow images of himself to be used for press advertising.



The two-year-old campaign has brought with it other problems, despite

its success in increasing sales, which rose 14 per cent like for like in

the last quarter.



The ads, which feature the 70-year-old entertainer in wig and gown,

exhorting customers to ’judge for yourself’, have been lampooned in the

press for being ’naff’.



Coote said he had called the review because of recent expansion. ’We’ve

had a very successful time as a company and we’re expanding quite

dramatically.



The time is right to make sure that we are with the best agency.’



He added that creative on the account was split between CDP, which does

the Forsyth TV work, and the production company, Sherwood’s, which does

the press advertising. Media, which is handled by TMD Carat, is not

affected by the review.



Courts has had three different creative approaches in recent years,

veering from GGT’s brash ’see you all in Courts’ ads, starring the

spangle-clad ’Mr Wonderful’, to the more upmarket ’Wouldn’t it be

lovely’ commercials through WCRS.



CDP won the account in May 1995 after pitching against TBWA and

BST-BDDP. It introduced the Forsyth campaign in September of the same

year.