Silentnight chooses Leith Agency for 2m account

Beleaguered bed manufacturer Silentnight has awarded its 2m advertising account to The Leith Agency after a four-way pitch involving the incumbent Brahm Agency.

The appointment is an admission by Silentnight that it has been drifting for the past year after dropping BDH, which created TV ads featuring a duck and a hippo.

In May last year a new management team ditched BDH, slashed the company’s ad budget to 200,000 and moved into in-store promotions and trade support through Leeds agency Brahm.

In May this year Silentnight reported an 11 per cent fall in pre-tax profits over the previous year to 11.1m. Executive chairman Bill Davies stepped down a year early and was replaced by Keith Ackroyd. It was then decided to increase the firm’s ad spend to 2m and look for a new agency.

Silentnight marketing analyst Andrew Shaw says: “Since we last had an up-front campaign, the company has lost its way a bit. We have lost market share over the past two years and this appointment is part of our strategy to get back that share.”

The first new work will break next year. It will concentrate on the consumer and trade press. Shaw says a TV campaign is planned for 1997.

The Leith Agency also pitched against McCann-Erickson Manchester and the Fine Agency.

BDH was invited to pitch but pulled out at the last moment.

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