D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles and BBJ Media Services have landed the
Littlewoods centralisation after a month-long pitch for the business.
The centralisation brings together advertising for the Littlewoods
Pools, Spot the Ball and Charity Scratch Card accounts and involves a
dramatic increase in ad budgets for 1996.
The account incorporates pounds 8 million of brand-building advertising
and pounds 14 million behind Littlewoods’ FA Cup sponsorship and its
DMB&B pitched against Lowe Howard-Spink and Bates Dorland for the
creative account, which was previously split between Lowes (Pools),
Dorlands (Scratch Cards) and the Manchester-based agency, Stowe Bowden
Wilson (Spot the Ball).
BBJ saw off competition from Lowes, TMD Carat and CIA Medianetwork to
take the centralised media planning and buying prize. Stowe Bowden
Wilson and Equinox Communications were the media incumbents on Spot the
Ball and Scratch Cards respectively.
Barry Cook, managing director of DMB&B, attributed the agency’s win to
‘a combination of in-depth understanding of the client’s business and a
terrific creative product’. He added: ‘We’re pleased to have won against
such tough competition.’
Jerry Buhlmann, managing director of BBJ, said the media pitch was based
on a wide-ranging brief: ‘It was not just about planning and buying, but
about a total communications package.’ BBJ has devised a communications
strategy for Littlewoods which integrates advertising for the three
Although DMB&B and BBJ pitched separately for the business, Tony
Hillyer, the marketing director of Littlewoods, said that the two
agencies would form a balanced team.
‘Splitting the business in this way will enable us to get the best
results out of the agencies and maximise our business performance,’ he
Littlewoods’ share of the soft-gambling market has come under increasing
pressure since the launch of the National Lottery at the end of last
year. Sales for the Pools division are said to have fallen by around 20
per cent over the past year.
Hillyer was drafted in last July to build a long-term marketing platform
and Littlewoods is now keen to build on its first year of TV advertising
through a more coherent strategy for 1996.