Swatch seeks agency for global ad campaign for Rado

The Swatch-owned watch brand Rado is talking to agencies about a

global advertising campaign, and is thought to have reduced the search

to McCann-Erickson Amsterdam and BBDO Barcelona.

The Swatch Group, which owns the Omega, Longines, Tissot and ckwatches

brands as well as the Swatch and Rado marques, is planning to launch a

global campaign breaking in spring 2002.

The move comes as Swatch seeks to consolidate its position within the

thriving watch market and comes on the back of a search for a global

agency to handle its £17 million Swatch account in February. In

the affordable market, Swatch faces increased competition from brands

such as Casio, Nike and Gucci.

The move to hire separate agencies to handle individual brands is a

change from the company's policy to create work in-house. However, it

has recently bought work created by several agencies.

The Rado brand, which falls into the high-growth luxury sector, has not

been performing as well as other brands within the sector. Luxury watch

sales rose by 30 per cent in 2000.

Rado watches are more design-led than practical, using rare ceramics and

gems as components.

Nicolas Hayek, the Swatch Group chief executive, announced this year

that several brands would be extended into jewellery. Other brands will

boost their profiles with standalone stores. Partners BDDH handles the

£15 million account for the Omega brand in the UK.

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