Fashion retailers look to refresh agency partnerships ahead of holiday season


Analysis of the major advertising and media account moves of the week. Keep up with the latest client reviews and pitches here.

In this column, we explore the major account wins and review announcements of the week. This week, fashion retailers and luxury brands refresh their media and creative approaches ahead of the holiday season.

Farfetch, a digital shopping platform for luxury fashion, selected MullenLowe Group’s Mediahub UK as its global communications planning and media buying partner this week. Mediahub was picked over incumbents MediaCom, Omnicom’s Hearts & Science and Havas.

The review was handled by the AAR and The Aperto Partnership. While retailers in the UK have had their recovery efforts dinted by supply chain issues, the pandemic has been kind to digital fashion retailers. A recent study by AppsFlyer found that consumer spend on e-commerce apps such as Farfetch rose 57% last year, and that app installs shot up 72% in 2020. In the second quarter of this year, Farfetch’s gross merchandise value crested over $1bn, a year-on-year increase of 40% and double the same period for 2019.

Last month, the company revealed plans to construct 178,000 sq m headquarters near Porto, Portugal. Gareth Jones, Farfetch’s global chief marketing officer, said it had chosen MullenLowe’s outfit to help it realise its ambitions for a bigger brand. He said: ”Farfetch is currently a bigger business than it is a brand – which presents a fantastic opportunity for us and Mediahub to build on. We are rebalancing our brand investment to enable this and having now identified our perfect partners, we are looking forward to working together on this exciting global challenge.”

Seasonal trend

It wasn’t the only digital fashion retailer to switch its agency account this week. N Brown, the company behind D Williams, Simply Be, Ambrose Wilson, Jacamo and Home Essentials, chose the7stars to take on its British media planning and buying.

The indie saw off rival approaches by Wavemaker and PHD; incumbent Carat was not involved in the pitch, which was led by Oystercatchers. Kenyatte Nelson, chief brand officer, N Brown, said of the winning bid: “Their channel and tech-neutral approach really showed the value of going for a creative indie and clearly set them apart from the other agencies.”

London jewellery brand Daisy picked Journey Further to lead its paid social strategy. It’s been briefed to boost sales and brand awareness. Nat Kovacs, managing director at Daisy London, said: ”We really liked [Journey Further’s] approach to paid social and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s to come in the future.”

Meanwhile, watchmaker Sekonda appointed Lucky Generals to get its brand positioning and creative ticking along faster. The agency hasn’t much time – it’s been briefed to get a new campaign out of the door in time for Christmas. Paul Clarke, marketing director at Sekonda, said: “We believe that Lucky Generals has the right blend of strategic and creative firepower to do that and we’re delighted to be working with them.”

Moves you may have missed

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – the agency tasked with managing the impact of hurricanes and wildfires in the US – has hired Ogilvy and Michael Baker International as a joint venture called Resilience Action Partners to provide ”behavioral science-based risk communication, capacity building and mitigation planning services” over the next five years. The incumbents held the account after a competitive pitch.

  • Omnicom has won the media account for Chanel, displacing WPP after almost 20 years.

  • Dentsu International successfully defended its account with Standard Chartered, and will remain its media AOR for the next five years.

  • PR agency the PHA Group has won accounts for recipe box company Feast Box and sister grocery brand Red Rickshaw.

  • Mental Health First Aid, England, a mental health social enterprise, has appointed Boldspace to build and launch the brand for a new B2B offering.

  • Social video production company Fraggell Productions has been appointed by Northcoders, a provider of software coding training schemes.

  • After a competitive pitch, Wavemaker and Acceleration have won the business for Perrigo, an American consumer pharma company.

  • Indian video poker app Hashtag Poker has appointed Chimp&z Inc as its digital agency.

  • Yorkshire Water is inviting agencies to bid for its PR, brand and creative business. The company manages 130 reservoirs across God’s Own County.

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