NEWS: Review threatens HHCL’s hold on Bhs

Storehouse is said to be on the brink of reviewing its advertising strategy, with both its Bhs and Mothercare chains falling under the spotlight.

Storehouse is said to be on the brink of reviewing its advertising

strategy, with both its Bhs and Mothercare chains falling under the

spotlight.



A regular internal review is currently under way at Bhs. The recent

departure of the marketing director, Helena Packshaw, and reports that

Keith Edelman, the chief executive of Bhs and its parent, Storehouse, is

dissatisfied with the chain’s advertising, has triggered speculation

that the pounds 4.5 million account could be under threat at Howell

Henry Chaldecott Lury.



A Bhs spokesman said: ‘We are holding a review, which we do every year,

of how the year has gone. Obviously if issues are raised that need to be

looked at further in the future, we will do so.’



He conceded that the rethink could lead to a review of HHCL’s role.



Meanwhile, agencies also believe that the baby and mums-to-be chain,

Mothercare, may take another look at advertising in the new year, once

its latest five-year business plan is finalised. Mothercare officially

uses Leagas Delaney for its award-winning advertising, but has done very

little over the last year.



But the Bhs account director at HHCL, John Leach, said there was

absolutely no truth in reports that the account was up for external

review. ‘Bhs works on an annual cycle, and at the end of any year the

campaigns are reviewed and decisions taken for next year. Our

relationship with Bhs is very good, and we have already started sitting

down with the chief executive to discuss next year.’



Nevertheless, the departure of Packshaw, a longtime champion of HHCL’s

cause, to run special projects for Storehouse, has stoked speculation

that this year’s review could be the one to break the four-year

relationship.



Neither Bhs nor Mothercare returned calls before Campaign went to press.



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