MediaVest threat as Next reviews media

Next, the fashion retailer, is talking to media agencies about its £2 million planning and buying account.

The business has been with MediaVest Manchester for more than ten years, but the retailer is assessing its options as it commits greater levels of spend to brand marketing.

Sources said Next was reviewing its relationship with the agency and benchmarking its work, while also talking to London-based agencies.

MediaVest Manchester has hitherto focused on direct res-ponse and online work to support the Next Directory. Next has already promoted its summer and winter sales. However, it is said to be committing up to £10 million on brand advertising activity as it takes on a resurgent Marks & Spencer.

Next's decision to review media follows the recent promotion of Christine Gerrard, its former head of PR, to retail marketing director. Its retail division, which includes more than 460 stores in the UK and Ireland, had a tough 2006, with profits down on the back of a 7.2 per cent decline in sales.

Reports say Next is about to launch a major ad campaign fronted by Yasmin Le Bon.