AIS London lands Waitrose CRM account

Waitrose has appointed AIS London as its CRM agency following a pitch process.

 Heston Blumenthal: chef stars in ad for his Waitrose caramel popcorn ice cream
Heston Blumenthal: chef stars in ad for his Waitrose caramel popcorn ice cream

The agency will replace the incumbent Kitcatt Nohr Digitas – which has worked with Waitrose since 2006 – later this year.

AIS London won the account following a review that was coordinated by AAR together with the John Lewis Partnership procurement team. The agency’s appointment followed a final pitch that also included MRM and the incumbent.

The move follows sister brand John Lewis' appointment of Proximity London to its CRM account in May. Kitcatt Nohr Digitas also handled that account, but chose not to repitch in order to focus on the Waitrose process.

Rupert Thomas, the marketing director at Waitrose, said: "We’re enormously grateful to the team at Kitcatt Nohr Digitas for all their hard work and creativity. They have played an important role in the success of a wide range of projects.

"We’re looking forward to working with the team at AIS London and have been particularly impressed by their professionalism and innovation within CRM. They will work alongside our in-house team to develop our CRM strategy, including driving forward our myWaitrose scheme."

Kitcatt Nohr Digitas, then Kitcatt Nohr, beat Archibald Ingall Stretton (now AIS London) and Partners Andrews Aldridge to the Waitrose business in October 2006 and picked up John Lewis five months later.

Marc Nohr, the chief executive of Kitcatt Nohr Digitas, said: "We are very proud of everything we have achieved with Waitrose over the past six years.

"In terms of successes, we have partnered Waitrose from the beginning of its CRM journey through the creation of one of the most profitable and successful loyalty programmes in the market. We’ve done some great work together and we wish Rupert and his team all the very best."

The appointment of AIS London does not affect Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Waitrose’s ad agency, and the supermarket’s media agency, Manning Gottlieb OMD.