MFI credit concerns prompt move to McCann

MFI Retail has pulled its advertising and media out of M&C Saatchi and Zenith-Optimedia after difficulties securing credit insurance on its £24 million media spend.

The furniture retailer is moving creative and media into the full-service agency McCann Erickson Birmingham. Sources suggest the switch was prompted by MFI's inability to secure credit insurance on its media spend.

It is thought ZenithOptimedia was unwilling to pre-pay for MFI's media given the lack of insurance, forcing MFI to conduct a search for another media agency. MFI, which was acquired for £1 in 2006 by the private equity company MEP, is thought to have wanted to consolidate media and creative into one group and approached M&C's sister agency Walker Media about taking on the media business. However, client conflict and concern over the credit insurance issue is said to have made it difficult to conclude a deal.

The retailer instead turned to McCann Erickson, which was willing to take on the media business alongside the creative. Sources suggest that MFI intends to spend heavily on a campaign in August.

M&C Saatchi won the advertising business from Publicis in December 2006 and created its most recent "family argument" campaign, while ZenithOptimedia successfully repitched for the media account last year.