Halfords appoints AMV to pounds 10m task

Halfords, the Boots-owned bikes-to-car spares retailer, has picked Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to handle the creative work on its pounds 10 million account.

Halfords, the Boots-owned bikes-to-car spares retailer, has picked

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to handle the creative work on its pounds 10

million account.



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

pitch process’.



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

review.



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

and deals.’



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