Muji, the Japanese retail chain which sells unbranded goods, has
picked the newly merged Willox Ambler Rodford Law to handle the creative
assignment on its pounds 500,000 account.
The appointment is believed to be the prelude to a move into continental
Europe by the company, which established itself in the UK eight years
Chris Ambler, the agency’s commercial director, would not comment on the
appointment, but industry sources say Willox Ambler has been awarded the
business after a three-way pitch.
Ewan Douglas, Muji’s UK director of operations, said: ’There’s nothing I
wish to comment on. We have been talking to several companies and we are
in the process of concluding that.’ He declined to say what brief
competing agencies had been given.
Muji was reported to be talking to agencies last month about the future
of its account, which left the London office of Hakuhodo almost a year
ago after the company had diverted much of its ad budget into store
Muji, which began as the own-label goods division of a Japanese
supermarket chain in the 80s, opened its first British store in London
in July 1991. Its stores sell a range of high-quality and simply styled
goods including clothes, food, stationery and household products.
Muji enjoyed a six-year relationship with the creative, Ken Dampier,
whose former agency, Dampier Robertson Redel, was appointed to run
Muji’s first British advertising. Hakuhodo took over the business with a
brief to broaden its customer appeal beyond affluent professionals.
Willox Ambler was formed in December from the merger of Ambler Rodford
and the through-the-line specialist, Willox Holmes Law.