WH Smith will be appointing a new agency to handle its &£10m creative account, after incumbent Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO declined to repitch for the business.
As revealed in Marketing Week, both the creative and media buying and planning accounts are to be reviewed, following a decision by the retailer’s new chief executive Kate Swann to look at all of its supplier contracts (MW January 8).
Walker Media, Universal McCann, MediaCom, Carat and incumbent Starcom Motive have been shortlisted to pitch for the media account.
A shortlist has yet to be confirmed for the creative review, but it is known to include six agencies. Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R chairman MT Rainey, who is a non-executive director at WH Smith, has had an input in drawing up the list. A decision is due to be made on the outcome before May 1.
WH Smith brand communications director Katie Spriggs says: “We are reviewing all major operational aspects associated with our business. Undoubtedly, the positioning and marketing of our brand to customers is one of these fundamental areas.”
AMV held the creative account for eight years and was best known for the television campaign starring Nicolas Lyndhurst.
AMV chief executive Cilla Snowball says: “The decision not to enter the pitch is a tough one but the right one for the agency, at a time when our client and new client agenda is busy and we have genuinely given our best. We believe we can do little more to demonstrate our credentials in a pitch.”