M&C Saatchi picks up Harrods brief to win back Londoners

Harrods has picked M&C Saatchi to handle its creative account as the Knightsbridge store attempts to present itself as more than just the preserve of well-heeled foreign tourists.

A Harrods spokesman said an announcement on a new agency was likely by the end of the week. However, industry sources say M&C Saatchi has won the final creative shoot-out against J. Walter Thompson. Media planning and buying remains at PHD.

The appointment is the precursor to an autumn TV and press campaign, which will aim to make the store top-of-mind with affluent London shoppers.

Harrods spends £2 million above the line, although the new initiative is expected to command a bigger budget.

The store, which boasts 30 departments, fears Londoners associate Harrods primarily with tourists, and rivals such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols may be displacing it in their affections.

Since parting company with Leagas Delaney, which it used on a project basis, Harrods has worked with Ogilvy & Mather and Euro RSCG London. O&M was dropped from the shortlist last month.

The pitch was organised by the Haystack Group and led by Anne-Marie Verdin, the Harrods marketing and communications officer.