Ikea, the furniture retailer, is reviewing its pounds 4 million account
and could end its relationship with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the agency
that launched the chain in Britain eight years ago.
Abbott Mead has rejected an invitation to repitch for the business but
said it would be happy to continue working on it if the company fails to
find what it believes is a better agency.
Ikea is understood to have visited the Advertising Agency Register and
to be in the process of drawing up a shortlist with a view to making a
decision by February.
Industry sources say pressure for the review has come from the company’s
Swedish management, which is sometimes confused by Abbott Mead’s award-
winning but wacky advertising for the Ikea brand. It is believed that
the agency has had a tough time convincing Ikea managers to stay loyal
to the advertising strategy.
In August the agency unveiled its latest TV campaign featuring the TV
personalities, Keith Chegwin and Nicholas Parsons, to launch the 1996
Andrew Robertson, Abbott Mead’s managing director, said: ‘The eight
years that we’ve had the Ikea account have resulted in some distinctive
and powerful advertising. Although we were invited to repitch, our
feeling is that we should stand by the work we’ve done and be judged by
it. The most recent TV campaign is tracking fantastically. It’s not only
our best work on the brand but the best in the category.
‘The company knows what we can do and if, at the end of its review, it
decides we’re the best, we would be happy to continue working for it.’
Ikea, which has six stores in the UK and plans to open a seventh in
November next year in Thurrock, says it wants to ensure it has the right
agency on board as it grows. It has no pan-European agency alignment,
preferring instead to handle its arrangements on a country-by-country
basis, even in Scandinavia.