Somerfield to call post-merger pitch

Somerfield is putting its pounds 13 million advertising account up for review, threatening a nine-year relationship with its incumbent agency, RPM3.

Somerfield is putting its pounds 13 million advertising account up

for review, threatening a nine-year relationship with its incumbent

agency, RPM3.



The supermarket chain, which merged with Kwik Save in February this

year, has invited Ogilvy & Mather, Grey, J. Walter Thompson, Leo Burnett

and McCann-Erickson, Kwik Save’s agency of record, to pitch against

RPM3.



It is not known if all the invited agencies will pitch.



The agencies will be asked to pitch only for the Somerfield brand as the

Kwik Save name will be phased out over the next four years. McCanns will

continue to handle Kwik Save’s advertising for the forseeable

future.



Initial pitches will be held in early November with a final decision

made early in the new year. The process will be overseen by Martin

Sutherland, brand marketing executive for the Somerfield stores.



The final decision will be left to a committee including Sutherland,

Philip Smith, the group’s marketing director who was formerly marketing

and trading director for Kwik Save, and Alan Shepherd, group brand

communications director of Kwik Save.



Somerfield’s pre-Christmas advertising campaign has already been

completed by RPM3 and will run as planned.



Somerfield is RPM3’s second-largest client after Mitsu-bishi, accounting

for around a third of the agency’s billings. It spent just over pounds

13 million in the period up to June this year, according to Media

Monitoring Services.



RPM3 has handled Somerfield’s advertising since its creation last year

out of the merger of the long-time Somerfield incumbent, Butler Lutos

Sutton Wilkinson, and Cowan Kemsley Taylor (Campaign, 14 November).

Butler Lutos was responsible for the famous campaign starring the Birds

of a Feather actress, Lesley Joseph. However, Joseph was dropped in 1997

in favour of a cheerful but put-upon mum.



Somerfield recently centralised the pounds 20 million media business for

both brands into McCanns’ sister media agency, Universal McCann

(Campaign, 18 September). However, Sutherland dismissed the idea that

McCanns would start as favourites.



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