Next, the high street retailer, has appointed Mediaedge:cia to its £10m media planning and buying.
The struggling clothes store group awarded the business to Mediaedge:cia following a competitive pitch against incumbent MediaVest Manchester. However, the Manchester-based agency is believed to have retained its £2m Next Directory account.
Next is preparing to ramp up its above-the-line advertising and is planning to spend £10m this year, up from £1.5m last year. Last May it ran its first advertising campaign in nine years and recently carried press and outdoor ads as part of a spring campaign. It is understand to be preparing to run television ads for the first time and is planning to increase its media spend beyond £10m in the future.
The company is going through a period of brand rebuilding after losing market share to rivals such as a resurgent Marks & Spencer. It has also announced plans for a big marketing push to turn around its ailing fortunes after reporting like-for-like sales in stores were down by 7.2% for the year to January 2007.
Next has traditionally shunned above-the-line advertising, favouring in-store marketing and promotions.
It promoted Christine Gerrard to marketing director last month from her position of head of public relations, after Sue Myatt retired in January after 25 years at the company. She will now head up all the company’s marketing activity.