Retailer Optical Express has appointed Leith Advertising to help build the chain into a national brand.
Optical Express, which is based in Cumbernauld, Glasgow, has 167 stores nationwide. The chain is believed to have earmarked a 4m war chest for marketing next year. The company spent 1.8m in the year to June (Nielsen Media Research).
Leith was handed the account, previously handled by Coltas, without a pitch. Media Vision Edinburgh will continue to handle media planning and buying. The agency was appointed in 1999 (MW July 1, 1999).
Optical Express offers arrange of eyewear and ocular health services and is a rival to chains such as Boots and Specsavers. The chain started as a one-store operation, set up by chief executive David Moulsdale, in 1992.
DCM Optical Holdings, holding company of Optical Express, is growing at a rapid rate. In May, it bought laser eye surgery specialist Maxivision, which has 22 centres, for 2m; and last October it bought Newcastle-based Health Clinic out of administration for 7.5m. In 2001, DCM bought the Co-op Eyecare chain.
Leith will work on strategic brand development as well as local tactical campaigns for the company.