Marks & Spencer has appointed indie shop ODD as the lead creative agency for its clothing and home division, just under two months after it revealed plans to splinter its advertising between food and non-food accounts.
The appointment deals a blow to Grey London, which has held all M&S creative since 2016. It's not known whether Grey pitched for the clothing account, but ahead of the process M&S said it was in discussions with the creative shop about possible involvement.
However, despite losing a portion of the business, the WPP agency will still be responsible for the retailer's food campaigns.
Giving some insight into the brief, M&S clothing and home marketing director Nathan Ansell said the brand needed "more targeted, inspirational and relevant customer marketing" to restore its style credentials.
"As part of this it’s important we have the right creative agency support, so we’re delighted to have appointed ODD, where the team has real expertise in clothing and home marketing," he added.
"Together, we’ll be looking to build on early successes with our digital-first approach to campaigns including ‘Holly’s Must Haves’ and to better utilise data for ‘always on’ cross-channel campaigns. There’s lots to do and we’re all looking forward to working together to make M&S more relevant, more often, to more customers."
M&S's separation of its clothing and home advertising from its food account follows on from an internal shakeup last year in which it ditched a top-down marketing structure, previously led by now-departed group chief marketing officer Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, in favour of separate functions.
The separate departments are now overseen by Ansell and Sharry Cramond respectively, who report into divisional managing directors. For the first time last year, the divisions ran separate, product-focused Christmas campaigns.
Founded by Simon Glover (MD) and Nick Sticland (ECD) in 2004 with a focus on fashion and lifestyle, ODD counts River Island, Doc Martens, Primark and Levi's among its clients.
Commenting on the win, the agency's executive creative director Nick Strickland said:“M&S is an iconic British brand that every agency would love to have on their client list. We’re thrilled at the opportunity to work together and excited to be part of the next phase of their creative journey. “