Blow for Freud Communications as Best Buy seeks PR repitch after just a year

Giant US electrical retailer Best Buy’s foray into the UK has not been an unalloyed success with the company cutting back its planned store expansion to concentrate on online sales.

The UK launch is a joint venture with Carphone Warehouse which has problems of its own, still struggling to integrate Tiscali into its Talk Talk offering years after it bought it and arousing the ire of industry regulator Ofcom and countless customers.

Now Best Buy is reviewing its £200,000 PR account after just a year at the mighty Freud Communications, one of the UK’s biggest PR consultancies and certainly the most profitable. Freud is not expected to repitch (the indignity of it all).

Freud founder Matthew Freud has had a lot on his mind recently, buying the company out of Publicis Groupe (the second time he’s left a marcoms company, the first was Omnicom) and doubtless advising wife Liz Murdoch about her own plans to sell her production company Shine to father Rupert’s News Corporation.

Freud is also believed by some to harbour ambitions of a management role for himself at News.

As for Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse their plans to invade the UK always looked hazardous, Currys was never going to give way without a fight and the supermarket giants are wading into the electricals market.

Even the hyper well-connected Freud was always likely to struggle with this one.

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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.