Wickes, the DIY chain, is to review its multi-million pound
advertising account as it expands its stores.
The company, which has used Clark & Taylor since 1995, spent pounds 4.5
million on advertising last year, according to AC Nielsen-MEAL. In the
past two years, it has concentrated on tactical advertising in the
national press and has worked extensively below the line. A more
concentrated brand-building approach to advertising is expected to be
taken next year.
The shortlist was compiled through the Advertising Agency Register, and
comprises the incumbent, Lowe Howard-Spink, which handled Wickes’s
brand-building work until two years ago, DMB&B and Leo Burnett.
The agencies will make creative and strategic proposals for national and
local elements of the Wickes business in November. The media account,
which is handled by Western International Media, is unaffected by the
review. A decision is expected by the end of the year.
Michelle Thompson, the brand communications controller for Wickes, said:
’While we are happy with the strategic, creative and operational input
of Clark & Taylor, we felt that this would be a good opportunity to
assess whether our current set-up offers us the best option.’
Lowes’ last major work for the chain was a TV commercial in 1995 which
parodied trailers for the Channel 4 soap, Brookside, concerning a hidden
Wickes hit the headlines last year when it was at the centre of a false
accounting scandal following the disclosure of trading irregularities,
said to be worth up to pounds 50 million. This prompted an inquiry by
the Serious Fraud Office into the management of the time.
However, the chain appears to be emerging from the scandal. Last month,
the new management announced the first profit for three years.
A four-year programme will target the ’decorative product’ sector where
the company’s market share is less than its average across products at
the heavier end of the DIY chain.