Focus selects BDH for Wickes creative task

Focus, the second-largest DIY retailer in the UK after its

acquisition of Wickes and Great Mills, has selected the Manchester-based

agency BDH/TBWA to handle its enlarged creative account.



The decision maintains Focus' 15-year relationship with BDH but means

the end of D'Arcy's four-year tenure of the Wickes business.



Budgets are undisclosed but are expected to reflect Focus' intention to

overtake B&Q's market leadership. B&Q spends more than £35 million

a year on advertising through Bates UK.



A decision is expected shortly on the outcome of a media pitch being

contested by Universal McCann, Media Insight, MBS - which already

handles the Focus group's business - and OMD UK.



BDH landed the creative assignment after a contest including D'Arcy and

On Trac, the incumbent on Great Mills - whose 93 outlets have been

rebranded under the Focus name.



It ends a protracted process that began last November, after Focus had

spent a total of £574 million acquiring Wickes and Great

Mills.



BDH will now extend its existing responsibilities for Focus, which

targets the soft end of the DIY market, to Wickes, which is being kept

separate to provide for the serious DIY enthusiast and

professionals.



D'Arcy was appointed in 1997 to handle the then problem-plagued Wickes

for which it produced the "Do yourself proud" campaign.



Neil Griffiths, the deputy managing director of BDH, said: "This

appointment is a real endorsement of the agency's creativity and retail

experience."