WCRS splits from 16m Iceland

By David Benady

WCRS has split with one of its largest clients, supermarket chain Iceland, which spends over 16m a year on advertising its stores, own-label products and electrical goods.

The account is returning to Manchester agency Tom Reddy Advertising. Reddy held the account until July 1994, when it was won by WCRS. The move forced Reddy to shed six staff, as the Iceland account was half of its total work.

But now Iceland and WCRS admit that “creative differences and working relationship issues” have led to the split. WCRS managing director Stephen Woodford says: “We disagreed both on the creative direction for Iceland’s advertising and on the way the working relationship was going. In these circumstances continuing to work together was in neither company’s best interests.”

Since WCRS picked up the business, Iceland has been through a number of changes as it struggles sandwiched between the powerful superstore retailers and low-price discounters. The chain appointed Andy Brent, ex-Procter & Gamble marketing director for household and cleaning products, as its marketing director in April 1995 (MW April 4, 1995).

Brent says of the split: “Sadly sometimes things don’t work out. The best agency to meet our needs currently is Reddy, but we’re grateful to WCRS for all their hard work on the business.”

Under Brent, Iceland dropped its “Mum’s gone to Iceland” advertising campaign in favour of a soft-focus branding campaign.

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