Magnet reviews 5.5m brief out of McCann arm

Magnet, the kitchens and building merchants group, is reviewing its 5.5m advertising account at McCann-Erickson Manchester.

The review follows the appointment of Andrew Airey, who joined the company as group marketing director in April of this year.

McCann has held the account since 1990 and has repitched for the business, and retained it, three times in the past seven years.

In the 12 months to March 1997, Magnet Store Retail spent 5.5m on advertising, according to AC Nielsen MEAL.

Airey replaced Ken Partington. He came from Blue Circle Industries, where he was marketing director for European product development.

Magnet was bought out by its management for 600m in the early Nineties. It was sold in 1994 to industrial conglomerate Berisford, which restructured the business and poached Partington from paint manufacturer Kalon.

Magnet is still in the throes of a long-running row with unions in the North of England, where an industrial dispute has just entered its second year following the dismissal of 300 Magnet employees.

A recent protest outside Magnet’s flagship showroom in London’s Kensington High Street was meant to signal the beginning of a boycott of showrooms throughout the UK.

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