Starcom MediaVest picks up £10.5m Harvey's account

By Jules Grant,,, Tuesday, 24 August 2004 11:00AM

LONDON – Starcom MediaVest has beaten three rivals to the £10.5m media planning and buying account for furniture retailer Harvey's.

It pitched against Carat, ZenithOptimedia and Manning Gottlieb OMD. Harvey's will announce the result of a creative pitch in the next few days, with Minerva hotly tipped to pick up the work.

Earlier this month the Harvey's media pitch was reported to have fallen into disarray. A number of agencies refused to work with the furniture retailer after insurance company Trading Indemnity refused to provide credit insurance for Harvey's media spend.

Rathbone Media was the incumbent on the media assignment and Soul held the advertising business. It is understood that Lida and Joshua also pitched for the creative account.

The review was handled by the AAR and was overseen Michael Graham, the media director of Harvey's. He replaced David Rich, who left the company during the review. Harvey's wants to adopt more upmarket image to rival MFI and DFS.

Starcom's win should soften some of the blow of losing the £40m Heinz European account last month. Starcom had held the business since 1999 and Heinz was its first UK client. The Harvey's win adds to its victory on the Kraft UK account, worth £16m, and also the £6m First Plus Financial account picked up just weeks ago.

A Harvey's win would be a filip for Minerva. The Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO second-string shop had to make a number of staff redundant in January after the E&J Gallo Wines business was swithced to BBDO San Francisco.

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