The DIY retailer, Wickes, is reviewing its media planning and
buying account as it prepares to roll out a new store concept based
around a more consumer-friendly approach.
Wickes has lined up four media companies to pitch for the business,
which agencies claim could be worth pounds 8 million over the next 12
The incumbent, Western International Media, will face Walker Media,
Mediapolis and MediaVest on the pitch for the business, with
presentations due later this month.
The media rethink comes a year after the retail chain reviewed its
creative account. Wickes moved its creative business from the incumbent,
Lowe Howard-Spink, to DMB&B last December.
Wickes had decided to retain Lowes’ media operation, Western, on the
media business, but is now understood to be keen to look at alternative
media strategies to run hand-in-hand with a new creative drive, which is
due out in the next few months.
The review is yet more bad news for Western, which is also facing a
fight to hang onto its pounds 86 million Vauxhall account. Mike
Tunnicliffe, Western’s managing director, declined to comment, referring
all calls to Wickes.
The company had previously pursued a tactical press advertising
strategy, but is now focusing on building the Wickes brand as a
specialist store for the serious DIY enthusiast and trade customer, as
well as for the casual DIY practitioner.
The change in direction follows a period of instability at the company,
during which Wickes was subject to an inquiry by the Serious Fraud
Office after the disclosure of trading irregularities in 1996.
Since then, a new management has turned around the company’s finances,
launched a marketing drive and tested its new store concept before
rolling it out nationally.
A decision on the media review is expected before the end of the year.