Otto looks to boost sales further with 8m media agency search

Otto, the German mail-order giant, is understood to be in talks with regional media agencies as it considers shaking up its £8m planning and buying arrangements.

The incumbent on the account is MediaVest Manchester. It is not known whether the agency will be repitching for the business.

The reports come shortly before Colin Webb, the former Boots and Norwich Union marketing chief, takes up his role as Otto UK’s group commercial director (MW July 6).

Otto, which owns brands including Freemans, Grattan and Kaleidoscope, has restructured its marketing operations. Webb’s role is a new position at the company and was created by Otto UK chief executive Mike Hancox.

Hancox was poached from rival Littlewoods late last year and is looking to revitalise the UK division.

Following his appointment, Otto UK hired Additions Direct brand director Neil Sansom to head its new trend-driven product for 25- to 40-year-olds. It also hired former Littlewoods Shop Direct staff Andy Roe as chief operating officer, Diane Fowler as Grattan brand director, Alex Hardy as brand director for Kaleidoscope and Tony Preedy as marketing services director.

Otto has a worldwide turnover of more than £10m and claims to be the world’s second-largest online retailer after Amazon. The German brand has a strong presence across mainland Europe, the US and Asia but remains relatively unknown in the UK.

The company is looking to roll out new catalogue titles and to revamp its online presence in the months ahead. It recently appointed digital marketing agency Cheeze to manage the digital marketing strategy for the company’s new online business Duck.co.uk.

Duck launched in June and focuses on selling electrical goods. Otto plans to dedicate the entire marketing budget for the new website to online activity.

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