Agencies net £3m garden Web venture

Crocus.co.uk, the Internet gardening site set up by BMP DDB ex-deputy managing director Peter Clay, has appointed agencies to its £3m advertising account in the lead-up to a May launch.

The site, which will sell plants and gardening equipment online, is to spend £3m of its £5m marketing budget on above- and below-the-line ads, including regional TV and national newspaper executions, but not gardening magazines.

The offline campaign is being handled by DM agency Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, with media planning by Unity and media buying by Zenith. Online work will be through Skyrock Network, with Soho London designing and building the Website.

Crocus is backed by Lord Jacob Rothschild, US financier Henry Kravis and venture capital fund NewMedia Spark. Clay left BMP DDB last May after 16 years to set up Crocus with Mark and Peter Fane – whose horticultural business created landscapes for the Millennium Dome and London Eye. Their business has also won the contract to create the Princess of Wales’ Memorial Garden.

Clay says: “Other gardening sites are editorial-heavy, but ours will be the most extensive e-commerce site.”

Online gardening supermarket and plant catalogue Greenfingers.com has shortlisted three agencies for a £2m ad campaign, with a view to making an appointment within two weeks, ready for an April launch.

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