BT has begun talking to agencies about a pounds 3.5 million
campaign to relaunch its retail stores, which have been losing ground to
high street rivals in terms of sales and image.
Peter Jones, the new general manager of BT Retail, has already contacted
a handful of London and regional agencies to discuss their experience
with retail clients. Meetings will be held over the next few days with a
view to drawing up a shortlist by the end of next week.
Agencies will be asked to produce formal pitches during May, which will
cover strategy and creative executions designed to build traffic in BT’s
stores, as well as refine the shops’ identity.
BT’s 100 stores do not have a high profile among consumers and have come
under increasing pressure from rivals such as the Carphone Warehouse on
mobile telephones, and Dixons’ the Link chain of stores on land-line
BT hired the design company, 20/20, to work on a new store concept and a
new trial shop opened in April.
BT Retail is a separate unit of the telecoms giant, based at Stockley
Park, near Heathrow, reporting into the consumer division.
Jones, who previously worked for Yorkshire Electricity, was unavailable
The account is currently held by McBains, part of the Abbott Mead
Vickers group, and it is the third piece of BT’s creative advertising
business to come up for pitch since the beginning of the year.
Last week, AMV won BT’s pounds 15 million business and consumer press
campaign, while its media agency, New PHD, triumphed in a separate pitch
to handle media strategy across BT’s entire pounds 100 million-plus
advertising. A result is also expected on the pitch for BT’s consumer
hardware products by the end of this week.