Publisher Harper Collins is looking for its first UK ad agency and has hired broker Agency Assessments to help.
A three-strong shortlist consisting of Young & Rubicam, Banks Hoggins O’Shea and Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson has been drawn up for the £1m-plus account.
The publishing house will concentrate the majority of its ad spend on campaigns highlighting a roster of “flagship authors”, including Jeffrey Archer, Barbara Taylor Bradford and James Herbert. It may consider a corporate campaign at a later stage.
“We are considering an agency either as full-service or creative-only,” says Harper Collins marketing director David Singer. “The decision will be governed by the pitch. Billings will be around £1m initially and then we will take stock.”
At present, Harper Collins divides its budget between media buyer Total Media and its in-house creative team, supplemented by freelance staff.
“The advertising has to step up a gear; the major thrust is to convince customers they want to buy our books. The secondary need is to retain our competitive edge within the publishing industry,” says Singer.