- Wunderman Cato Johnson is poised to scoop the £3 million through-the-line advertising business for Fuji after a four-way pitch against Grey, Walsh Trott Chick Smith and Jones Mason Barton Antenen.
Grey, Walsh Trott and Jones Mason have been told that their pitches -- which were based on both creative and strategic ideas -- were unsuccessful, and WCJ is understood to be negotiating contracts with the film manufacturer. Richard Bagnall-Smith, WCJ's managing director, declined to comment.
The appointment of a direct marketing agency underlines the client's increasing commitment to data-driven strategies for its advertising. The integrated task is expected to kick off soon after the appointment has been ratified and is likely to involve TV, press and promotional work. The client's aim is to become a more potent competitor to the market leader, Kodak, and to expand the Fuji brand into a broader group of consumers.
TBWA GGT Simons Palmer was the incumbent on the business until the review was called last month (Campaign, 5 February). It was initially asked to pitch against Grey, and declined. Walsh Trott and Jones Mason were then drafted in. WCJ joined the race even later, having previously worked with Fuji in Germany, out of its Frankfurt agency.
The UK Fuji account was won by Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson in 1996, and during its tenure the agency created campaigns for Fuji's QuickSnap disposable camera, the Fotonex camera and Nexia film.
The client's move towards a more through-the-line communications strategy was confirmed in summer 1997 when it embarked upon a data-driven campaign for Fotonex, with creative by Simons Palmer but data capture by Broadsystem. At the time it was speculated that a below-the-line agency would be more appropriate for Fuji.
Separately, WCJ has also been appointed by Whirlpool, the white goods manufacturer, to handle all of its customer service marketing across Europe. Whirlpool intends to build on this aspect of its marketing and base future relationship marketing on the work carried out by WCJ.