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RKCR/Y&R checks out of Premier Inn repitch

RKCR/Y&R has decided not to repitch for Premier Inn, which decided to review its account in February after eight years with the agency.

New Y&R CEO Jon Sharpe says: “With our big new wins this year in Premier League and Chanel and more on the horizon we’re off to a strong start and we’ve decided we’d rather focus on bedding in those new relationships.

“We’ve had a fantastic eight years working with Premier Inn and are proud of the work we’ve produced together in building the brand and establishing spokesman Lenny Henry to produce one of the most salient campaigns within the sector. We were delighted to be asked to re-pitch but, with a heavy heart, have decided to decline the offer. Having had a busy start to the year in new business we are keen to focus on bedding in our new clients and saving ourselves for the next big opportunity. We wish Premier Inn all the best.”

A heavy heart and a lighter wallet too. Y&R has had a torrid time over the past couple of years, culminating in the loss of Lloyds Bank to adam&eveDDB and the replacement of CEO Ben Kay with Sharpe.

But Sharpe is doubtless right to concentrate on what the agency seems confident is a strong new business stream. Repitching is always a nightmare, usually with little chance of success although Leo Burnett was recently reappointed by the Co-op after an extended pitch process. The agency also has its work cut out trying to put some oomph back into Marks & Spencer which today reported another yet another dismal set of clothing and homeware numbers.

The Lenny Henry campaign will be a hard act to follow and a tricky decision for Whitbread-owned Premier Inn. Especially as number two brand in the British budget hotel sector, recently re-financed Travelodge, is spending agressively through CHI & Partners.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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