Focus, the second-largest DIY retailer in the UK after its
acquisition of Wickes and Great Mills, has selected the Manchester-based
agency BDH/TBWA to handle its enlarged creative account.
The decision maintains Focus' 15-year relationship with BDH but means
the end of D'Arcy's four-year tenure of the Wickes business.
Budgets are undisclosed but are expected to reflect Focus' intention to
overtake B&Q's market leadership. B&Q spends more than £35 million
a year on advertising through Bates UK.
A decision is expected shortly on the outcome of a media pitch being
contested by Universal McCann, Media Insight, MBS - which already
handles the Focus group's business - and OMD UK.
BDH landed the creative assignment after a contest including D'Arcy and
On Trac, the incumbent on Great Mills - whose 93 outlets have been
rebranded under the Focus name.
It ends a protracted process that began last November, after Focus had
spent a total of £574 million acquiring Wickes and Great
BDH will now extend its existing responsibilities for Focus, which
targets the soft end of the DIY market, to Wickes, which is being kept
separate to provide for the serious DIY enthusiast and
D'Arcy was appointed in 1997 to handle the then problem-plagued Wickes
for which it produced the "Do yourself proud" campaign.
Neil Griffiths, the deputy managing director of BDH, said: "This
appointment is a real endorsement of the agency's creativity and retail