Carat loses out on £15m Courts

Courts, the furniture retailer, is dropping Carat from its £15m media planning and buying account after an eight-year relationship.

Courts, the furniture retailer, is dropping Carat from its &£15m media planning and buying account after an eight-year relationship.

MediaCom Accent, a division of MediaCom, has picked up the business without a pitch. The agency will start work in September.

Courts marketing controller Andrew Hickling says: “Courts will be launching concept stores, a new logo and brand image, as well as addressing new market segments over the coming year. It therefore wants a new media agency to take a fresh look at its media strategy.”

Last month, Courts opened two new-style stores using the new brand image, and which incorporate in-store plasma screens for promotions.

He added that the advertising account, held by RPM3, was not under review.

It is understood that Courts issued notice to terminate its contract with Carat last week after a difference of opinion arose between the two companies. Carat’s managing director Colin Mills says: “While it is always disappointing to lose business, especially after eight years’ hard labour, our relationship with Courts was never a great partnership.”

MediaCom’s other clients include Courts’ rivals DFS, Ikea and Harveys Furnishings Group. However, Hickling says he does not see this as a problem.

A spokesman for DFS, which uses MediaCom for national print buying, denies that there would be a conflict of interests.

Ikea and Harveys Furnishings Group were unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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