Soul to build Hallmark brand after winning £3m UK brief

LONDON - Soul has won the £3m Hallmark Cards account in the UK, with a brief to set about building the brand into the minds of UK consumers.

Soul, which beat the six-year incumbent, Leo Burnett, in a two-way pitch, will work on ways to raise the profile of the US-owned company in the UK, and focus on establishing it as the leading greetings card brand.

The appointment will not involve Soul working on its US-based Hallmark Entertainment arm, which produces and distributes television series and movies and owns the Hallmark Channel.

Soul's managing partner, Seamus O'Farrell, said: "To create the first brand in the market is a dream brief. The importance of greeting cards in terms of human relationships is an incredibly potent area, and offers us huge scope to help Hallmark transform its business in the UK." He confirmed that new TV work would break early in 2003.

The appointment comes barely two months after the arrival of the company's new group marketing director, John Lennon, who joined from a 12-year stint at Unilever. He is seeking to build on UK consumers' penchant for buying cards and build on its existing status as the world's largest consumer market for cards.

Hallmark owns the Andrew Brownsword Group as well as Creative Publishing, which supplies cards to high-street multiples such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

Hallmark first advertised on UK television with a 1998 campaign from Leo Burnett, which showed a young man winning back his lover after a row by delivering her a Hallmark card in the rain.

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