TBWA/London has parted company with the luxury department store Liberty as the retailer considers abandoning above-the-line advertising.
The decision, finalised over the Christmas period, follows the acquisition of the troubled London retailer by Marylebone Warwick Balfour last May and the arrival of the new chief executive, Fiona Harrison, in December.
Both parties stressed that the parting was by mutual agreement. 'TBWA's advertising has been very successful but we have no need of its services at the moment,' Harrison said. 'I will be looking at the entire business strategy in the next couple of months. We'll decide what we need in terms of advertising then.'
TBWA picked up the pounds 1 million account for Liberty after a pitch against J. Walter Thompson in March 1999. It has launched three poster campaigns exploring the 'feel at Liberty' theme. TBWA's last work for Liberty, in which a range of avant-garde Liberty products were modelled by Erin O'Connor, ran in September.
'This is an amicable parting of ways,' Garry Lace, TBWA's joint managing director, said. 'We're proud of the work we've done for Liberty but in the light of its business strategy for 2001 we both agreed that our services were no longer required.'
Liberty's new owner has made a number of spending cuts at the store, axing its menswear line and making plans to rent its Regent Street premises as office space.