Agencies vie for TK Maxx

Shortlist of agencies to pitch for retailer's £5.4m media planning and buying brief.

The retail chain TK Maxx is reviewing its media planning and buying account, which is currently held by Starcom.

The discount fashion retailer has invited a number of media agencies to pitch for the £5.4 million account as part of plans to increase its marketing activity in the UK.

A TK Maxx spokeswoman said: "We are reviewing our media planning and buying account, and we have drawn up a final shortlist."

Campaign understands up to eight media agencies have been invited to meet with the company, including Starcom. However, the spokeswoman refused to comment on the agencies involved.

The review will not include the regional media account, which is handled by BLM Clilverd, or online media planning and buying, which is handled by BLM Quantum. The latter won the business in a pitch against Starcom and Golley Slater in February.

The retailer plans to increase its digital marketing activity this year and establish its web presence as a key channel to drive customers in-store. It recently launched a cross-media Comic Relief campaign to promote its role as the sole retailer of Red Nose Day T-shirts.

Last May, TK Maxx appointed Golley Slater as its first UK direct marketing agency to work alongside its in- house advertising team. The appointment, which followed a pitch against Claydon Heeley Jones Mason and DSJ, was part of a strategy to use DM to establish a clear brand proposition among customers.

TK Maxx has 210 UK stores. It is owned by TJX, which also owns the TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods brands in the US and Puerto Rico and the Winners and HomeSense brands in Canada.

The company was recently embroiled in a worldwide credit card theft scandal after details emerged that TJX's security systems had been breached. TJX admitted hackers had stolen the details of 45 million credit and debit cards used by shoppers worldwide.