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
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
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
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