Troubled Parcelforce hands ad brief to Soup

Parcelforce has appointed Soup to handle its consolidated advertising and direct marketing business, after a six-way pitch. The budget for the account is between £1.5m and £3.5m.

Soup, which was the incumbent on the direct marketing business, pitched against Draft Worldwide London, Joshua, Interfocus, Perspectives Red Cell and Proximity London (MW July 25). Lowe had handled the account, but its contract with Parcelforce ended earlier this year and was not renewed. According to agency sources, Parcelforce is considering a move into TV advertising.

A spokeswoman for Parcelforce’s parent company, Consignia, says the move to a single-agency approach was made in order to save money at the troubled company. Parcelforce is one of Consignia’s biggest loss-makers and is undergoing a restructure, abandoning its standard parcel-delivery service to focus solely on express and time-guaranteed services.

The news comes soon after the regulator, Postcomm, revealed that Consignia had failed to meet the performance standards set by the watchdog and was in breach of its licence. Royal Mail is losing about 500,000 letters a week due to mistakes at sorting offices and poor addressing. Last week, it also emerged that only one person – out of 36,000 in the trial area – had signed up to a scheme whereby Royal Mail charges £14 a week to deliver post before 9am.

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