Publicis wins pounds 6m business for Great Universal's Reality

Great Universal Stores (GUS) has appointed Publicis Group to its

pounds 6 million creative and media accounts for its Reality e-commerce

and logistics arm.



Publicis Dialog will handle the creative for advertising and direct

marketing while Optimedia has been appointed to the media planning and

buying brief. Publicis pitched against TBWA/London and Mustoe Merriman

Herring Levy for the business.



Reality launched the search for creative and media agencies following

its appointment of Interbrand to develop a new identity and branding

earlier this year.



The main task for Publicis Dialog will be to raise awareness among

consumers and businesses of Reality's online services.



Expenditure will be divided evenly between advertising and direct

marketing.



Reality was formed when GUS was reorganised to split its shopping and

mail order arm, including Argos, from its information database services.

In January, GUS bought Breathe.com for pounds 1.4 million and has since

shelved the Breathe brand after integrating Breathe's technology into

Reality's operations.



Reality's services include internet and WAP fulfilment services as well

as online shopping facilities. It is hoping to win a major chunk of the

e-fulfilment market, which is expected to be worth pounds 5 billion by

2008 in the UK alone. Reality has contracts with Halifax, Barclaycard

and Hitachi and is talking to a number of other companies about handling

their distribution.



Reality handles 12 million customer accounts for GUS and controls its

White Arrow Express home delivery service operation. It has sales of

pounds 444 million and 20,000 employees.



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