BBH holds on to WH Smith work

WH Smith is understood to have reappointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to its ú11m (Register-MEAL) account, despite the agency’s refusal to repitch for the business (MW December 16).

WH Smith is understood to have reappointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to its £11m (Register-MEAL) account, despite the agency’s refusal to repitch for the business (MW December 16).

Britain’s biggest high-street newsagent says it is still considering its “long-term” agency needs and admits it is also considering reappointing BBH. But agency sources suggest the company has ruled out rival agencies and has already reappointed BBH to the business.

At the time of the split the agency said much of the retailer’s advertising consisted of press campaigns funded by its music and video suppliers.

It said this was the reason why it would not repitch, though the agency is also thought to have found the large number of management changes at the retailer increasingly unsettling. Most recently, general manager marketing Dean Cowley was forced out following a major restructure (MW July 1), while Esther Horwood, general manager brand marketing, is set to leave next month (MW December 16).

The bulk of BBH’s work was centred on WH Smith’s Christmas and Back to School campaigns.

The business attracted interest from a large number of agencies – thought to include McCann-Erickson and EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper among many others – though no agency would comment on the account.

There is also a question mark over the size of WH Smith’s spend. The Register-MEAL figure is £11m but agency sources suggest its actual spend is a great deal less, possibly as low as £2.5m.

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