-- The latest website aiming to cash in on man's affection for his furry companions has awarded its £10 million European account to TBWA GGT Simons Palmer ahead of a fully integrated campaign this summer.
Petspark.com, which offers pet owners friendly veterinarian advice along with food and health products and animal toys, appointed the agency without a pitch after initial discussions over brand strategy last November. TBWA Chiat Day currently handles the account of the US-based Pets.com, which holds equity in Petspark. The European site is also backed by the UK internet incubator, Brainspark.
Chiat Day's high profile US campaign for Pets.com, which featured a manic dalmation glove puppet, hit the headlines when late night comedian Conan O'Brien launched a foul-mouthed parody of the Pets.com puppet, leading to the website suing one of the show's writers in April.
Petspark, whose UK competitors include the recently-launched petsonthemind.com, recently strengthened its management team when it poached Adrian Marrullier from Virgin cosmetics to become European chief operating officer. "We feel that TBWA's expertise in traditional media and targeted direct marketing offers the right blend of skills for our proposition," said Marrullier of the appointment.
"I am delighted about the business and so are my two dogs," said TBWA chairman Paul Bainsfair. "We're all looking forward to doing some exciting work in an interesting sector."