PetsMart puts Bates UK business on hold after takeover

The future of Bates UK’s pounds 1.3 million PetsMart account is in question after the scandal-plagued pet store chain’s takeover by its main UK rival.

The future of Bates UK’s pounds 1.3 million PetsMart account is in

question after the scandal-plagued pet store chain’s takeover by its

main UK rival.



The business was already under review at Bates before PetsMart was

bought by Pets at Home last month.



Now the new owner has put the review on hold, while it decides whether

or not to invest in above-the-line advertising at all, according to

industry sources.



Previously, the stores were promoted via local press, posters and

TV.



But the account has been dormant for several months.



Toby Hoare, the Bates group chief executive, said: ’We are currently not

doing any work for PetsMart.’



The image of Britain’s largest group of pet superstores was severely

damaged after charges were made by the BBC Weekend Watchdog programme

last month that staff clubbed sick animals to death and left others to

die.



The claims prompted an investigation by PetsMart into the living

conditions and health of several thousand animals in its stores.



It followed allegations by former PetsMart staff of sick rabbits being

killed with spades and hamsters smashed against walls in plastic

bags.



Bates won the then Pet City account in February 1994. The stores were

modelled on the US concept of ’category killers’, which aim to destroy

all retail and wholesale competition in the stores’ catchment areas.



Two years later the US-based PetsMart bought Pet City for a staggering

pounds 150 million even though the stores had not made a profit.



Since then, the US company struggled to make its UK operation successful

as cheaper product lines from the US have hit the stores’ profits.



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).