Knight Leach Delaney has beaten TBWA to win a slice of the pounds 13
million Debenhams business, only a year after TBWA was appointed as the
department-store chain’s first advertising agency.
While dealing a blow to the incumbent, the move also confirms Debenhams’
volte-face in its advertising policy, as the department store continues
to embrace the use of agencies after previously creating all its
advertising in-house. When the Burton Group-owned retailer appointed
TBWA last year (Campaign, 14 April 1995), it insisted that the deal was
on a single-project basis only.
A national poster campaign by Knight Leach Delaney breaks this week and
ads have already appeared on bus sides in London.
The agency has built on the existing Debenhams endline to come up with a
new angle, which reads: ‘Same difference. The difference is Debenhams.’
The posters use opposing concepts to illustrate the ‘difference’ idea.
For instance, the ‘hit and miss’ execution is illustrated by a man in
his sports kit carrying a tennis racquet, which is contrasted with a
picture of a young girl seated on some cushions.
Stuart Leach, the managing director of Knight Leach Delaney, said: ‘We
are delighted to win such an excellent blue-chip account. We are
producing work that builds the brand.’
Both agencies were briefed for the new campaign three months ago, and
the ideas they came up with were put into research. Knight Leach Delaney
was appointed as a result of this research.
Jonathan Hoare, the managing director of TBWA, said: ‘It is a blip. We
learned a lot from the research and we are going to make it count.’
It is thought that TBWA’s Christmas TV campaign did not have enough
impact and a new advertising initiative is needed to encourage customers
to visit the stores.
Knight Leach Delaney’s ads will go up in the vicinity of Debenhams’
prime store locations next week.
Alison Dow, the advertising and promotions director for Debenhams, was
unavailable to comment on the company’s advertising plans.
The media planning and buying account, which is held by TMD Carat, is
unaffected by the changes.