Dreams appoints Starcom MediaVest Group to £35m account

Bed specialist Dreams has appointed Publicis Groupe-owned Starcom MediaVest Group to its £35m media account after a competitive pitch.

Dreams: appoints Starcom MediaVest Group
Dreams: appoints Starcom MediaVest Group

Starcom pitched against the incumbent, Newcastle-based Robson Brown, which entered administration this week, and Brilliant Media.

Stewart Easterbrook, CEO of Starcom Mediavest UK said: "Dreams is a rapidly growing business with a clear goal. We look forward to supporting them develop the Dreams brand as they take their next steps forward."

Dreams is the nation’s biggest bed retailer with over 260 stores, having opened 44 new stores in 2010.

The full service agency Robson Brown has worked with Dreams since 2000, during which time the retailer has significantly enhanced its media spend and increased its presence on TV, including the sponsorship of 'Celebrity Big Brother'.

Robson Brown and its sister agencies, Bath-based Attinger Jack and London-based R2 Communications, formerly Austin West Media Limited, appointed the administrator Zolfo Cooper on Monday (29 November).

A spokesman for Zolfo Cooper said the sale of Attinger Jack had been agreed today, preserving the jobs of the firm's staff of around 17 people, but could not confirm further details. R2 Communications and Robson Brown are still trading while a buyer is sought.

Robson Brown is one of the biggest agencies in the North East and has around 80 staff. It has got into difficulties less than a year after its founders sold the agency to Los Angeles ad firm Round 2 in March.

A spokesman for Zolfo Cooper was keen to stress that the administrator was examining all possible options for the firms and that no redundancies had been made.

Kevin Coates, director, Zolfo Cooper, said: "The group has suffered from recent cash flow pressures, which, combined with recent poor trading performance and the economic climate, has led to the need for today’s appointments."

In September, Dreams approached a number of advertising agencies ahead of launching a pitch for its advertising account, but at the time, it was thought that the media account was not affected.

The ad pitch was understood to be motivated by a desire to highlight Dreams' expertise as a specialist bed retailer, against the rise of consumers buying beds from multi-purpose retailers such as Argos, rather than being indicative of problems at Robson Brown.

According to Nielsen, Dreams spent £35.4m on media in the year to the end of September.

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