John Lewis kicks off £15.5m media review

LONDON - John Lewis has kicked off its £15.5m media planning and buying pitch, submitting briefs to media agencies through consultancy Billetts.

The retail chain is believed to have created a long list of agencies to compete for the business. It follows the news, reported in Campaign yesterday, that the creative account is set to be awarded to Interpublic Group creative shop Lowe London.

Media and creative for the retailer had been handled by full-service agency Burkitt DDB. It is now unclear as to whether the agency, having lost the creative account, will be asked to pitch as part of the media review.

The media review will be run by John Lewis marketing director Andrew Woodward, who has been re-assessing all of the retailer's marketing services providers.

John Lewis is a heavy spender on press advertising and spends £9.9m on the sector, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The advertiser spends £2.1m on television and an estimated £2.3m on direct mail campaigns to compliment its press spend.
Last month, fellow John Lewis Group retailer Waitrose appointed Manning Gottlieb OMD to handle its £9m media planning and buying account.

It won the business as part of a five-agency pitch involving Havas agency Media Planning Group, WPP's MindShare, Aegis-owned Vizeum and Interpublic Group media shop Universal McCann.

The incumbent on the Waitrose account Brand Connection did not repitch for the business. The fellow Interpublic agency has been merged into Initiative after losing Norwich Union's £80m UK media account to Omnicom agency OMD last December. 

The merger into Initiative, which also handles the UK's largest supermarket Tesco, led to client conflict which was believed to be the reason behind the Waitrose pitch.
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