- Agent Provocateur, the London chain of stores specialising in exotic lingerie, is returning to advertising for the first time in three years with a promise not to repeat its soft porn promotional tactics of earlier times.
Barrett Cernis Delves & Partners has been assigned to revive the dormant account. But the agency promises its new work will be nothing like a 1995 commercial showing a man so stimulated by what is on display in the shop window that his erection smashes the glass.
Ray Barrett and Andy Imrie, the agency's creative partners, are currently working on a new cinema film which will debut early next year.
But Justin Cernis, BCD&P's managing partner, said: "We're not out to make ads that risk being banned. The earlier commercial was dead right for its time but Agent Provocateur has grown and moved on. It's a brand with great cachet and presents us with a wonderful creative opportunity.
The agency, appointed without a pitch, has also been advising the company on how the brand can be moved into other areas and markets. Budgets and a media appointment are still under discussion.
Set up in December 1994 by Joe Corre, the son of Vivienne Westwood, and his business partner Serena Rees, Agent Provocateur's two West End stores initially sold English, French and Italian lingerie labels as well as original 50s underwear. Now, its own-label products account for 80 per cent of sales. It also has an extensive mail order business.
Rees cited the agency's creativity and its refusal to be "constrained by normal commercial considerations" as the reason for the appointment.
Cernis added: "Agent Provocateur isn't just for the weird and wacky. Its lingerie is beautifully designed and very feminine and we will be building awareness of its range."