Sotheby’s takes on specialist agency to challenge Christie’s

Sotheby’s has hired G3 - a start-up agency launched 16 months ago - to sustain its challenge to Christie’s as Britain’s leading auction house.

Sotheby’s has hired G3 - a start-up agency launched 16 months ago -

to sustain its challenge to Christie’s as Britain’s leading auction

house.



The appointment of G3 is part of plans by the US-managed auction house

to extend its activities, which include the imminent launch of an online

service.



G3 - established by three former directors of the Strattons agency -

landed the full-service assignment after a three-way pitch.



The hiring ends Sotheby’s previous arrangements in the UK, under which

the creative work was handled in-house with media being bought by Total

Media.



It also extends Sotheby’s relationship with G3, which began last year

when the agency won a project to rebrand the company’s country sale-room

at Billingshurst in Kent as Sotheby’s South.



Besides working on national, regional and specialist press advertising,

the agency will sit on Sotheby’s marketing committee, where it will

offer strategic and design advice.



Jennifer Conner, Sotheby’s European head of marketing, cited G3’s ’clear

understanding of our strategic marketing needs’ as the reason for the

appointment.



Piers Bracher, G3’s client director, said: ’The battle between Sotheby’s

and Christie’s is as perpetual as the one between Pepsi and Coke. Our

task is to rationalise the marketing strategy and the visual

presentation of the brand, which has been very fragmented.’



The advertising is aimed at encouraging people to sell through Sotheby’s

and to publicise its activities, which range from multi-million pound

art auctions to sales of coins and stamps.