Clarks, the British footwear retailer, is understood to have appointed Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO to its £12m advertising business.
Incumbent St Luke’s had held the shoe retailer’s account for a decade before losing out in a competitive pitch. The agency was responsible for developing the “Be your own label” and “Life’s one long catwalk” campaigns, which have both played a part in the brand’s recent makeover. The agencies on the shortlist also included Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest.
In the past few years the retailer, best known for practical shoes for both adults and children, has been trying to banish its conservative image. The company wants to appeal to a wider market by taking on a “cooler”, more modern image that it hopes will bring younger purchasers back to its stores.
Last year the company reported its global turnover in the year ending January 31 had fallen 3.4% to £921m.
During that same period UK sales were also down 16.7% to £51.6m.
As part of a plan to turn things around the company promoted marketing director Rosemary Carr to global brand director, with a brief to modernise and unify operations across all global markets. Among her responsibilities are bringing consistency to the store design, products and ad campaigns.
Clarks was founded in 1825 and now operates 500 stores in the UK and sells its shoes through a further 1,100 stockists. The Somerset-based company sells almost 41 million pairs of shoes each year and has more than 12,000 employees around the world involved in producing and selling its products.