DIY chain the Focus Group has consolidated its &£20m advertising business into BDH/TBWA, three months after calling a review of all of its agencies.
The Manchester-based agency will handle creative work for all of the retail group’s brands, which include Focus, Focus Do It All, Wickes and Great Mills. The review was handled by the AAR.
BDH/TBWA, reappointed to handle the &£10m Focus Do It All account in February, was invited to pitch for the combined business along with the other two incumbents, D’Arcy (Wickes) and Ontrac (Great Mills).
Malcolm Peters, board account director of D’Arcy, which was appointed to handle Wickes in 1997, says: “After a successful relationship with Wickes over the past few years we will be very sorry to see them go.”
The pitch list for the media buying account for the Focus Group is understood to have been whittled down to Universal McCann and Media Insight, with a decision expected next week. MBS Media, which handled the Great Mills’ media business, and OMD UK were eliminated earlier in the review.
The creative and media reviews follow the Focus group’s &£289m acquisition of Wickes last September and &£285m takeover of Great Mills, completed earlier this year.
More than 90 Great Mills stores will be rebranded as Focus over the next year, although the Wickes brand will remain and be targeted at the professional home-improvement market.
The pitches are being overseen by Jill Keen, marketing director for Great Mills, Focus and Focus Do It All and Colin Bell, marketing director at Wickes. neither was available for comment as MW went to press.