Halfords is reviewing its pounds 9 million advertising account
after four years with Publicis.
The bikes-to-car spares retailer is believed to have approached six
agencies about its above-the-line creative account with a view to
putting together a shortlist soon after Christmas.
Although it is unclear which shops have been listed so far, it is
understood Halfords is considering the roster agencies of its parent,
the Boots Company. Credentials are due to be seen in the week before
Christmas. Media, which is currently centralised through BMP Optimum, is
not thought to be included.
The decision to look afresh at the business follows a reorganisation of
Halfords’ marketing department. The former director of marketing, Zoe
Morgan, has been made director of marketing and merchandise, while David
Patten has been promoted from marketing manager to head of marketing.
The pair are thought to have been instrumental in the rethink.
Patten denied that the company was talking to agencies about
above-the-line work, saying instead that he was only talking to sales
promotions agencies about below-the-line activity.
He said: ’We have restructured and have been questioning our use of
agencies in the broadest sense. But we are planning with Publicis for
Rick Bendel, the chairman of Publicis, was unavailable for comment on
the report as Campaign went to press.
Publicis started working with Halfords in 1994 when it was appointed to
handle the small garage servicing part of the business, leaving the main
retail account with WCRS. It won the pounds 9 million chunk of business
in August 1995.
Since then, it has helped harmonise the two distinct sides of Halfords’
business with the line, ’We’re nuts about ...’. Its current work broke
two weeks ago.