Matalan shortlists agencies for £6m job

Matalan, the discount clothing retailer, has shortlisted four agencies for its creative account, believed to be worth as much as &£6m.

J Walter Thompson, CDP, McCann-Erickson Manchester and incumbent Willox Ambler Rodford Law have been shortlisted after the chain approached up to ten big-name agencies.

Head of marketing Mike Morrison, who last year awarded media buying and planning to Carat Manchester (MW July 2, 1998), is to oversee creative pitches in the next two weeks and choose a winner by the end of the month.

Rodford Law has handled Matalan’s TV work – worth about &£1.5m – for the past two years.

Matalan’s ad spend is expected to increase fourfold next year following significant growth in sales.

An insider says the pitch was called because the company wants to increase consumer recognition of the brand, emphasise the convenience of its out-of-store locations, as well as its value-for-money proposition.

The creative brief is understood to involve three TV campaigns, to break over the coming year.

The 100-strong chain sells discounted own-label and brand-name clothing lines to members, who pay a &£1 joining fee.

For the 26 weeks to July 3, Matalan recorded a 169 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to &£16.4m on sales up 25.4 per cent to &£149.3m.

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