Universal McCann keeps hold of Hennes business despite pitch

Universal McCann has seen off a threat to its UK media planning and buying assignment for the Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz.

The agency retained the account after a three-stage pitch involving a number of undisclosed London shops.

Universal McCann's "in-depth understanding" of H&M's business was cited by the company as the reason for not moving the £4 million account elsewhere.

Universal McCann's pitch was led by the agency's joint managing directors, Andy Jones and Damian Blackden.

Jones said: "H&M is a fantastic brand and we are delighted to be reappointed after a vigorous review process. It's further proof of our outstanding retail and brand credentials, and H&M knows we can continue to deliver."

The agency won the business in October 2000 as part of a strategy of global expansion by H&M. The assignment had previously been handled by CIA Conzept.

H&M has been seeking to reposition itself as offering affordable quality fashion, enabling it to compete directly with Marks & Spencer in the UK.

The company reported a 7 per cent increase in turnover for April, compared with the corresponding period last year.

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