We’ve noted before that you never get fired for hiring AMV/BBDO (just like IBM in the old days) so Dixons’ new marketing boss Gary Booker (wasn’t he in Procul Harum?) should be OK for a few years.
AMV has beaten off long-time incumbent M&C Saatchi (which thought it would hang on to the business), BBH and, in the early stages of the review, !8 Feet & Rising. According to Campaign the review was led by Dixons’ procurement people although Simon Francis’s Flock Associates was heavily involved.
Dixons (which owns Currys and PC World) is one of the UK’s biggest advertisers spending about £50m, chiefly on hundreds of press ads every year – a task that used to be carried out by a team in the M&C Saatchi basement. It remains to be seen if they will travel with Dixons to AMV or the client will decide to use a production specialist such as Tag, Zone or Network.
And will new man Booker try a proper branding campaign, on top of the avalanche of price and offer stuff? There doesn’t seem to be much point in moving the account if not, and AMV is rightly famed for its ability to find something interesting to say about such rather boring pillars of the UK business community – and keep on doing so for decades.
Bumped into AMV chairman Cilla Snowball last week and she was looking rather pleased with life, maybe she knew. AMV doesn’t win that much new business, largely because it already has whopper accounts in most sectors. But it’s been by far the UK’s biggest agency for decades now, a position it will surely hold when the Nielsen rankings come out in a few weeks.
Next year it might have faced a challenge from currently all-conquering VCCP, provided its new client Asda spends the megabucks everybody expects it to as it, in common with the other established supermarket chains, spends heavily to try to see off the depredations of discounters Aldi and Lidl. Dixons should help to keep AMV on top of the heap for a few years more.
Gary Brooker, dear boy! (Always useful to have ex-subs with long memories among your readers.)