B&Q new broom Moss turns to old chums at WCRS

1307962_Chris-MossGiant UK D-I-Y retailer B&Q has moved its £45m account to WCRS after dumping Karmarama before Christmas, a move which won’t surprise anybody very much. WCRS pitched for the account against Karmarama in November 2012 and doesn’t give up easily. The arrival of new B&Q customer and marketing director Chris Moss (left), who had worked with WCRS at Orange and 118 118, provided the opportunity.

All of which is tough on Karmarama but shows how difficult it is for smaller, albeit successful, agencies to take on the big boys for big retail accounts. Especially when WCRS is backed by the resources of Engine Group, Peter Scott’s marcoms company. Scott was a founder of WCRS.

But WCRS is enjoying a purple patch at the moment after a few years in the doldrums and a number of management changes. It’s currently churning out buckets of ads for Sky, embroiled in a new turf war with BT Sport, which must be having a favourable effect on the bottom line.

Scott is always happy to tell you that WCRS now accounts for just nine per cent or so of Engine business (to make the point that the group is much bigger). But it’s always going to be the most famous company in the empire and therefore the flagship.

Paul Simons adds

In this cut and thrust world of pitching for new business with all of the attendant stress and cost isn’t it refreshing when a big piece of business just walks through reception?

WCRS have been handed the B&Q account without a pitch by the incoming marketing chief Chris Moss. This is however a long relationship following Chris departing the marketing role at Virgin Atlantic in the early ‘90’s to co-create Orange, famously promoted by WCRS with ‘The future’s bright, the future’s Orange’.

After the Orange gig he became a founding member of what became the 118 118 team; which was again handed to WCRS to develop. And now he is back with another interesting challenge.

Simons Palmer was appointed by Chris Moss to help promote Virgin Upper Class. We found him to be a great client, demanding and impatient yet imaginative and creative. I can recall a conversation with him about what we all do when we go to the movies and ice creams were on the list.

The next flight I went on with Virgin I was offered an ice cream when the movies were about to start.

Chris was the driver of many of the details that differentiated Virgin Atlantic from BA.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the chemistry of Moss and WCRS can refresh a fairly dull category.

Also a nice new year present for WRCS!

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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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