Woolworths is strongly tipped to hand its &£25m advertising account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, stripping Bates UK of the business which it has held for 17 years.
BBH – best known for its work for Barclays, Levi-Strauss, Xbox and Audi, rather than the priceand product-led, fast-turnaround advertising demanded by retailers – pitched against WCRS, TBWA/London and Bates UK (MW January 30).
It is not known whether Woolworths will retain the “Well Worth It” slogan which it has used for the past five years.
It had been predicted that Woolworths would change agencies following poor Christmas trading figures in 2001 and an ad campaign that, according to chairman Gerald Corbett, failed to give sufficient exposure to product. Bates produced a new-look campaign for the retailer starring comedian Paul Kaye in a last ditch attempt to retain the business. Kaye was later dropped by Woolworths (MW January 16).
The chain reported better than expected figures in its January trading statement, with total group sales up 5.8 per cent for the six-week period to January 1, 2003. It is expected to report its full-year results today (Wednesday).
Following a strategy review that ended last year, Woolworths is concentrating on providing clothing and products for children, items for celebrations, homeware and cooking essentials.
The news will come as another blow for Bates, which last week lost out to HHCL/Red Cell in a pitch for the Sky+ account.