Meccano strategy shift fuels UK agency hunt

Meccano Toys is looking for a UK ad agency in a shift away from its current strategy of using world-aligned advertising agency Grey Paris.

The metal construction toy was originally the brainchild of model train maker Frank Hornby, who patented it in 1901, and sold it under the name “Mechanics Made Easy”, but after falling post-war sales the company was bought by a French entrepreneur in 1989.

Earlier this year, Grey Paris won the advertising account and ads have since been adapted for screening in different countries. One execution is currently on air in the UK on GMTV.

Vanessa Wilkes-Chase, Meccano marketing manager, says: “We are talking to agencies, for work in 1997 and onwards. This is just a UK issue. It does not affect the alignment of Grey Paris.” She refuses to comment further.

Meccano faces powerful competition in the construction kit market, particularly from Danish-owned Lego, which recently appointed BMP DDB to its 5m advertising account (MW October 18).

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