Agent Provocateur, the London chain of stores specialising in
exotic lingerie, is returning to advertising after three years with a
promise not to repeat the soft-porn tactics of previous campaigns.
Barrett Cernis Delves & Partners has been assigned to revive the dormant
account. But the agency promises its new work will be nothing like a
1995 ad showing a man so stimulated by what is on display in the shop
window that his erection smashes the glass.
Ray Barrett and Andy Imrie, the agency’s creative partners, are
currently working on a new cinema film which will debut early next
But Justin Cernis, BCD&P’s managing partner, said: ’We’re not out to
make ads that risk being banned. The earlier commercial was dead right
for its time but Agent Provocateur has grown and moved on. It’s a brand
with great cachet and presents us with a wonderful creative
The agency, appointed without a pitch, has also been advising the
company on how the brand can be moved into other areas and markets.
Budgets and a media appointment are still under discussion.
Set up in December 1994 by Joe Corre, the son of Vivienne Westwood, and
his business partner, Serena Rees, Agent Provocateur’s two West End
stores initially sold English, French and Italian lingerie labels as
well as original 50s underwear. Now its own-label products account for
80 per cent of sales. It also has an extensive mail order business.
Rees cited the agency’s creativity and its refusal to be ’constrained by
normal commercial considerations’ as the reason for the appointment.
Cernis added: ’Agent Pro-vocateur isn’t just for the weird and
Its lingerie is beautifully designed and very feminine and we will build
awareness of its range.’