Pablo comes out on top in DFS ad contest

Pablo will replace incumbent Krow.

DFS: previously worked with Krow
DFS: previously worked with Krow

Furniture retailer DFS has awarded its advertising account to Pablo after a competitive pitch. 

Pablo replaces the incumbent Krow Communications, which had held the business since 2011. It beat Bartle Bogle Hegarty and VCCP in the final round of the review, which was managed by AAR.

Krow and Publicis.Poke also pitched at an earlier stage. 

DFS has tasked Pablo with creating a new brand platform to launch in the autumn. The brand said it selected Pablo on the strength of its creative response to the brief and cultural fit with the client team. 

Nick Ashworth, marketing director at DFS, said: “AAR has led an extremely thorough strategic and creative review and we have been impressed by the high quality of work presented by a number of agencies.

"We look forward to working with Pablo to bring to life our customer benefits and we are excited to partner with them on the next step of our brand evolution.

“We also want to thank Krow for a great 10 years, as they have grown our brand, culminating with an IPA gold award."

Of the five contenders for the retailer’s ad account, independent shop Pablo was the smallest in terms of billings, ranking 59th on Nielsen’s 2020 list of top 100 creative agencies. 

On its 2019 billings of £10.4m, Pablo was the 84th-largest UK creative shop. Last year, however, it gained a net £60m in billings, thanks to six wins, including Deliveroo and Betfair.

Gareth Mercer, founder of Pablo, added: “Pablo is super-excited about partnering with DFS. We have totally fallen in love with the team, the culture and the bold creative ambition. It feels like a really important moment for the brand and we are pumped about the direction we are headed in.

"I’d also like to recognise the brilliant process that DFS and AAR ran. It was great fun and really put us in a position where we could get under the skin of the business."

DFS is among the UK's biggest advertisers. In 2017, it was ranked 12th with a spend of £64.4m, just behind Amazon, which later became the world's top advertiser.

It is also the biggest sofa retailer and manufacturer in Britain, with more than 120 stores across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain and more than 4,000 employees. DFS is the official Team GB homeware partner for the Tokyo Olympic Games.