John Lewis handles paid search work in-house

John Lewis is taking its multi-million-pound paid search account in-house as part of significant investment in digital activity led by its internal online marketing team.

John Lewis

The department store giant has been working with Steak Digital for two years (nma 20 September 2007) and will retain the agency for natural search and consultancy work, but will now directly manage its pay-per-click search account itself.

John Lewis is looking to capitalise on a boom in online sales, as well as manage search more closely using technology from Omniture, as it increases product range on the site.

Last week John Lewis revealed a 13.7% increase in year-on-year sales through for the first half of 2009, in contrast to a decline in overall sales of 3.1%.

Luke Kingsnorth, development manager in the online marketing team at John Lewis, told new media age, “We like to have things directly managed by us. Although Steak has increased ROI for us, we felt it was time to get a lot closer to what is a big area of our online marketing.

“When we started with Steak we didn’t have the capability to manage it in-house, but that has been a big focus for us subsequently,” he added.

In April new media age revealed John Lewis’s aim to become one of the UK’s leading online fashion retailers as it ramped up fashion products on

Kingsnorth said it was now focusing on social media, including Twitter, with increased activity planned for later in the year.

The move by John Lewis is part of a growing trend. Moneysupermarket and have both taken their paid search accounts in-house recently, working with technology partner Efficient Frontier.

Rival Debenhams appointed Steak Digital as its paid search agency this month.

This story first appeared on


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