Co-ops split doubled £12m media spend

The UK’s two largest co-operative societies have split their newly-merged media buying account between incumbents Motive Communications and Robson Brown. They plan to double their combined ad spend to £12m this year.

The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) and Co-operative Retail Society (CRS) combined their marketing operations last year and are in discussions about a full merger.

Motive will handle the merged TV buying account, having been the incumbent on CRS’ media buying business. Robson Brown, CWS’ incumbent agency, will handle press buying.

A CWS spokeswoman says the £12m adspend will be split equally between TV and press advertising: “The agencies will work on a new campaign which will break next summer, building on our ‘It’s a family thing’ campaign.”

The present CWS TV campaign features relatives of celebrities, the latest commercial starring Terry Wogan’s wife. Another starred his son Mark.

Andy Roberts, executive director of buying at Motive, says: “The merged societies have recognised our negotiation and buying ability. It’s as simple as that.”

CWS and CRS appointed Partners BDDH as their joint creative agency in December. The agency previously handled CWS and won following a pitch against CRS’ agency Duckworth Finn Grub Waters.

MSc, the media planning joint venture between Partners BDDH and New PHD, handles media strategy.

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