Johnny Hornby’s CHI & Partners is noted for its account handling abilities and the one of the biggest tests of these for any agency is retaining a big account.
CHI pulled out al the stops in the repitch for Argos and it’s worked: the £55m account is staying at CHI after a final shoot-out against Mark Lund’s agency Now. The other agencies to pitch were WPP’s JWT and RKCR/Y&R (CHI is 49 per cent owned by WPP) and Publicis.
Argos called the pitch following the appointment of Stephen Vowles as marketing director from Ladbrokes despite CHI’s work scoring strongly in awareness studies. Vowles says: “We saw some really exciting ideas on how we can reposition Argos as a more universally appealing, digitally-led business, and we’re looking forward to continuing our strong relationship with the CHI & Partners team to make these ideas a reality.”
Argos, owned by Home Retail Group which also owns Homebase and Habitat, claims to be the UK’s biggest general merchandise retailer and has gone some way to switching from a catalogue-based business to digital ‘click and collect’ although Vowles clearly wants to go further. It will be interesting to see if it sticks with its ‘Aliens’ advertising (above).