IPA Effectiveness Awards 2006: Gold Award - Grand Prix, Sponsored by Thinkbox

Campaign title: Your M&S
Client: Marks & Spencer
Agency: RKCR/Y&R
Author: Megan Thompson, RKCR/Y&R
Contributing authors: Jonathan Neil and Sarah Threadgould, Marks &
Media used: TV, print, outdoor

IN A NUTSHELL: Confident communications restored public confidence in M&S and helped drive an extra 18 million customer visits.

SUMMARY: In spring 2004, consecutive sales declines and negative press coverage left M&S vulnerable to a second virtual takeover bid. In order to turn M&S fortunes around, communications needed to serve as a public declaration of M&S's confidence and commitment to change and turn the tide of negative PR. Since the launch, "Your M&S" campaigns have generated more than £6 million worth of positive press coverage and contributed to more than 18 million additional customer visits. In spring 2006, M&S reported Q4 sales growth of 9.1 per cent against a backdrop of total high-street sales down 1.4 per cent on the year. In spring 2006, the M&S share price was just below £6 and M&S had the highest P/E multiplier of any FTSE 100 retailer.

JUDGE'S COMMENT: The stunning turnaround of M&S was underpinned by root and branch investment, from product ranges and retail design to customer service. But without advertising, many people would never have known about these improvements. This paper proves, beyond doubt, the role that advertising played and its significant ROI; encouraging reappraisal, generating footfall and making the advertised products fly off the shelves.

- Tess Alps, chief executive, Thinkbox.


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