Kingfisher calls pitch for 70m media business

Kingfisher is reviewing its 70m media-buying account for its B&Q, Comet, Woolworths, Superdrug and Staples retailers.

It will decide today (Wednesday) on a pitch list, but Mediastar, TMD Carat and incumbent Zenith are likely to be included. CIA Medianetwork has also been connected with the account.

It is understood Mediastar has been trying to talk Kingfisher into a review for a number of months.

The review is being headed by Comet’s new chairman, Eddie Styring, and co-ordinated by media consultancy Media Audits. It will concentrate on the five Kingfisher brands’ press expenditure and is to be completed by the end of next month.

Kingfisher claims it has called the review because Zenith has held the business since 1988 and the account has grown so much in the intervening period.

“This is a straightforward review with no strings attached,” says a spokeswoman.

Kingfisher moved the Comet media account from Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO to Zenith – centralising the business – in July, after Zenith lost the media buying for Comet’s competitor Dixons (MW April 21).

Kingfisher’s interim profits fell from 88m to 74m in the six months to July 29, reflecting reduced profits from B&Q and increased losses at Comet.

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