Bartle Bogle Hegarty has gained a prized foothold on the Marks & Spencer advertising roster weeks before M&S will announce the appointment of the marketing director who will lead a major advertising review.
The appointment, which gives BBH the task of creating the chain’s winter foods marketing campaign, comes as speculation mounts that M&S’s £20m advertising budget will be spent across both the foods and general merchandise divisions for the first time.
BBH’s appointment, which follows M&S’s project approach to advertising campaigns, places the agency alongside BMP4 and Elliott Borra Perlmutter on the chain’s roster. Media buying agency Optimedia, which was appointed along with EBP for the £2m summer foods campaign in June (MW June 3), has held on to the media account for the new campaign.
The appointment of BBH follows speculation that a new board level marketing director, to be announced within the next two weeks, will conduct a full review of marketing at the troubled chain and may unify advertising for the first time.
M&S announced in March that it was to almost double its ad spend from £12m to £20m this year. This follows comments from new chief executive Peter Salsbury that the company must promote itself better to cope with growing competition (MW March 25). Profits for 1998/9 were halved to £546m after stock ordering problems, a downturn in retail spending and the declining popularity of its ranges.