Debenhams is understood to be looking at launching a national model competition to find a face to star in a television advertising campaign.
The retailer, which was bought by private equity consortium Baroness Retail for &£1.7bn last December, recently appointed Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy to handle its &£16.5m advertising account. MCBD pitched with Amplified, the integrated communications agency set up by former Carlton Media Sales chief executive Martin Bowley, against Clemmow Hornby Inge, Delaney Lund Knox Warren and incumbent WCRS to win the business.
It is thought that regional heats will be conducted to help select a winning model. The new face of Debenhams is expected to wear clothes from the Designers at Debenhams range in the campaign. Big-name designers used by the retailer include Julien Macdonald, Gharani Strok and Matthew Williamson.
Miles Calcraft managing director Helen Calcraft says: “Our job is to create a tangible difference between Debenhams and its high street competitors by injecting it with serious fashion credentials, appetite, appeal and energy.”
This is becoming increasingly important as competition within the clothing sector is on the increase, fuelled by newcomers on the high street such as Zara and supermarket brands like George at Asda. General clothing retailers such as Bhs are also investing heavily in advertising.