Halfords, the Boots-owned bikes-to-car spares retailer, has picked
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to handle the creative work on its pounds 10
The change ends a five-year association with Publicis and adds Halfords
to AMV’s large retail roster, which includes Sainsbury’s, W. H. Smith
and Granada Rentals. Media, which was not included in the rethink,
remains with BMP Optimum.
AMV saw off challenges from HHCL & Partners and Duckworth Finn Grubb
Waters to take the business. Publicis declined to take part in a
competitive pitch, saying it would stand by its ’We’re nuts about ...’
campaign, which is likely to be ditched.
Zoe Morgan, the Halfords director of marketing and merchandise, said AMV
had been awarded the account because it had ’demonstrated the closest
understanding of our business against the knowledge gained during the
She added: ’This, coupled with its own major retail experience, as well
as the strength in depth of its team, gave AMV the edge.’
Morgan and David Patten, Halfords’ newly appointed head of marketing,
looked at agency arrangements as part of a total business strategy
As a result, AMV’s pitch, led by its vice-chairman, Graham Brown, who
will run the account, focused heavily on strategic proposals.
AMV’s appointment follows a recent disappointing performance by
Halfords, whose sales have been hit by unseasonably warm weather, which
has reduced the demand for car batteries and de-icing sprays.
But Michael Baulk, the AMV chief executive, said: ’Halfords business is
seasonal and the fact is, it has a terrific business base. The standard
of service it offers is indeed very high and one of our jobs is to match
public perception with reality.’
Baulk declined to discuss AMV’s first work on the business, which is a
press campaign due to break at Easter. But he added: ’Our task is to
define the advertising balance between what’s necessary to build the
brand and getting people into the stores for specific product offerings