HHCL/Red Cell has stepped down from the &£10m Iceland account after the retailer called a review of the business amid speculation that the supermarket will take the advertising in house.
However, marketing director Nick Canning categorically denies this will happen, and says he is drawing up a shortlist of agencies to pitch for the advertising account.
He has already reviewed media buying and planning arrangements, the outcome of which was that MediaCom will continue to handle the business.
The agency review, as exclusively revealed in Marketing Week (MW March 24), is part of a wider examination of the business that has been instigated by new chief executive Malcolm Walker. He has already announced 400 redundancies out of a total of 1,200 head office staff. It is understood that this will include up to 20 jobs in the 50-strong marketing department.
Walker was installed as chief executive at the supermarket after Baugur Group bought the Big Food Group, of which Iceland was part. Walker, the founder of Iceland, has taken a stake in supermarket chain and plans to take it back to focusing on frozen food.