Blue Water developer holds account talks

An Australian property developer behind the proposed biggest retail centre in Britain is scouting for an agency.

Lend Lease, the company behind the Blue Water development in Kent, is understood to have spoken to several agencies including Ogilvy & Mather and McCann-Erickson. It is now speaking to others.

McCann-Erickson is believed to have declined to pitch.

Blue Water is scheduled to open at the end of 1998. Its owners believe it will be the biggest retail centre in Britain, overtaking Meadowhall and Lake Park Thurrock and will have an annual turnover of 500m.

Lend Lease wants an agency to act as a consultant and work on the development of a full marketing programme in the run up to the advertising launch. The account is understood to be worth 5m over three years.

“There are a lot of marketing activities that we will have to work on,” says Lend Lease marketing director Des Surleff. “We will need to develop a brand and a brand strategy, which will take 12 months. But even before that we may use different approaches for aspects of the project.”

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