Rapier in doubt as Which? seeks agency

Which?, formerly the Consumers Association (CA), is looking for a below-the-line agency to handle an advertising push thought to include direct-response television (DRTV).

The move puts the organisation’s relationship with retained agency Rapier in doubt.

It is understood that pitches took place last week and a shortlist is being drawn up. Rapier was appointed by then marketing director Geoff Hurst to handle CA’s &£14m marketing business in December 2003. When Hurst left the business, its print and online publication was rebranded Which? in October last year. Hurst was later replaced by Chris Gardner.

Which? also appointed a new chief executive last year. Peter Vicary-Smith replaced Sheila McKechnie, who died in January 2004.

Vicary-Smith joined from Cancer Research UK, one of the pioneers of DRTV, where he was commercial director.

Rapier was CA’s first retained agency and helped the organisation carry out its rebrand last year. However, the account has been dormant in recent months.

A Which? spokeswoman says: “We’re in discussions with Rapier about our working relationship.”

Which? has worked with several agencies, including Miller Bainbridge, Target Direct and Corporate Edge, on a project basis.

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