Isobel faces 5m Ilva account challenge

Furniture retailer Ilva is in talks with advertising agencies over its 5m UK advertising business.

Furniture retailer Ilva is in talks with advertising agencies over its £5m UK advertising business.

The incumbent Isobel is understood to be repitching for the business. The Danish retailer is understood to be talking to a number of undisclosed agencies.

Isobel was appointed to the business in May 2005 with a brief to create the launch campaign for the opening of its first three UK stores. The agency won the account without a pitch after courting the retailer for more than a year.

In December last year it created Ilva’s first UK television campaign aimed at raising the company’s profile during the busy furniture buying Christmas period.

To counteract the "on sale" ads of Ilva’s rivals such as Ikea, Isobel created a campaign using a quirky soundtrack and the message "It’s wonderful", repeated again and again. The ad featured children and adults playing with four inflatable letters that made up the word Ilva.

Ilva markets itself as an "Ikea for adults" and uses stores of around 120,000 sq ft, less the half the size of the average 250,000 sq ft Ikea outlets.

It opened its first store in Denmark in 1977 and started its international expansion in 2006 with a store in Malmo, Sweden. This was followed with its first UK store in Thurrock last year. There are two others in Manchester and Gateshead.

It appointed marketing communications planning agency Experience in July 2005. The agency is not thought to be affected by the review.

Isobel and Ilva were unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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