NEWS: AMV declines to pitch in pounds 4m review at Ikea

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.

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

catalogue.



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.