Co-op hunts agency for consumer branding task

The Co-operative movement is looking for an agency to help it devise an advertising strategy that works across all its consumer businesses.

The movement has been working on an over-arching branding positioning for the consumer businesses since last year (MW March 6, 2003) and is now looking for an ad agency to help convey that to consumers. The Co-op movement comprises more than 40 co-operative societies, including the largest – the Co-operative Group. Together, the societies cover a range of businesses that include food retailing, funerals, banking, travel and pharmacies.

The AAR has helped the movement draw up an agency shortlist, thought to include Leo Burnett, St Luke’s, DDB London and Euro RSCG London, to pitch for the multi-million pound brief. An agency is expected to be appointed by the end of November. A management team drawn from the movement’s society members and headed by the Co-operative Group’s director of corporate affairs Wendy Wrigley is overseeing the pitch. Leslie Butterfield of the Ingram Partnership is also understood to be acting as a consultant to the movement.

The movement already works together through its Co-operative Retail Trading Group and the Co-operative Travel Trading Group.

The pitch is separate from that being held by the Co-operative Group to find an agency for a membership recruitment drive which is being supported by the reintroduction of its “divi” – a dividend paid out to members based on how much they spend with the group’s businesses.

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