Argos hires Essence for digital and in-housing

Sainsbury's-owned retailer's digital media account moves from retail-specialist agency Summit.

Argos: hired Essence for digital media
Argos: hired Essence for digital media

Argos has appointed Essence, the WPP media agency, to its digital media account with a brief that includes developing its in-house capabilities. 

Essence will manage the Sainsbury’s-owned retailer’s search, programmatic, online video and paid social account and will offer consultancy support for in-house activity. The move means WPP regains a foothold on the business after losing out in a controversial pitch two years ago.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s confirmed Essence’s appointment.

The business has been handled by the retail-focused agency Summit, which has offices in Yorkshire, Warwick, London and Prague, for the past 13 years. Summit repitched for the account.

Summit was set up in part to provide rehabilitation services to prisoners and has an office inside HMP Wolds in the East Riding area of Yorkshire where people serving time at the prison can work for the company.

Sainsbury’s appointed PHD to the combined media business for Argos and Sainsbury’s in June 2017 after originally hiring WPP-backed M/SIX to the account four months earlier. PHD’s parent Omnicom Media Group had challenged the earlier decision

However, Argos’ digital media business was not included in the review two years ago. At that time, PHD retained the digital media brief and alongside the above-the-line media for Sainsbury’s and took on the traditional media for Argos from WPP's Mindshare.

Argos’ creative account is handled by The & Partnership London.