M&S asks suppliers for ad funds

Marks & Spencer has turned to its suppliers to help fund its marketing, brand overhauls and stores revamp to help drive growth.

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Suppliers, including fashion and homewares manufacturers, will be asked to contribute 1.25% of their turnover with M&S from October 17.

The request, which is not uncommon among retailers, could amount to millions of pounds.

It is part of CEO Marc Bolland’s broad-based strategy to turn M&S into an international multi-channel retailer by 2015.

The initiative will help fund the ongoing store revamp programme, the overhaul of M&S’s fashion labels and recently launched advertising campaigns starring Ryan Reynolds and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

M&S has also embarked on a partnership with The X Factor that could see the finalists starring in its Christmas advertising.

Suppliers are expected to benefit from the accelerated international and domestic growth that the investment will bring.

An M&S spokesperson says: “This is an exciting time for M&S and its suppliers; we’ve set out a very clear strategy to grow our business over the next three years to our mutual benefit. We therefore believe it is right that our top suppliers are part of the journey from the start.”

Separately, M&S has poached New Look’s head of ecommerce Dom McBrien as multichannel trading director. He will work alongside Laura Wade-Gery to drive the development of M&S’s new online platform and multichannel operations.

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