WCRS scoops Forte and Debenhams

Forte Hotels and the Debenhams department store joined the ranks of WCRS clients this week, adding pounds 10 million to the agency’s billings.

Forte Hotels and the Debenhams department store joined the ranks of

WCRS clients this week, adding pounds 10 million to the agency’s

billings.



Forte chose WCRS to take its Posthouse and Heritage brands back on

television after a six-year absence following a head-to-head pitch with

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe for the business.



The move follows Granada’s acquisition of Forte in 1996 and the

appointment of the new marketing director, Suki Kalirai, earlier this

year.



Around pounds 6 million has been earmarked for TV commercials this year,

in addition to a print, public relations and direct marketing blitz.



Until now, advertising for each of Forte’s hotel brands had been handled

by separate agencies, including Bartle Bogle Hegarty and the Manchester

shop, Redman Jones & Partners. Media, which is with New PHD, is

unaffected by the consolidation. Forte’s third hotel chain, Meridien, is

largely international and a campaign for this brand is not expected in

the short term.



Meanwhile, details were scarce about the WCRS project for Debenhams, the

department store chain that demerged from its Burton Group parent in

January.



To date, it has handled most of the creative element on its pounds 7

million advertising budget in-house, while media has been bought by TMD

Carat.



TMD’s role is not affected by the WCRS appointment.



Robin Wight, chairman of WCRS, called the Forte win a ’tremendous

compliment’.



But he declined to give details of the Debenhams task, except to confirm

that the agency would be working with the store chain on a ’project to

help build the Debenhams franchise’.



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