Is M&S going to move food and clothing into two agencies?

Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe is ringing the changes, trying to wring some extra market share and revenue from his two main businesses: Food and Clothing and Home.

A while back food was in the ascendancy but that’s stuttered recently and Rowe has brought in supermarket veteran Stuart Machin from South African-owned retail holding company Steinhoff UK as managing director of food.

Over at clothing and home former McDonald’s and Halfords boss Jill McDonald is in charge running what looks like the second (or first) of two separate businesses – albeit sometimes under the same roof. Rowe has been adamant that there are no plans to divide the company in two but it must be a possibility one day.

Heavyweights like Machin and McDonald like to run their own show and now it seems that M&S, currently at Grey after leaving Y&R 18 months or so ago in a closed WPP pitch, is considering appointing two creative agencies: one for food and the other for clothing and home.

On the face it this seems to make sense: there’s little overlap between its food and clothing advertising. The two new bosses may as well have their own agency, that’s what they’ve been used to. More competition across the empire might bring some fizz and vim back into M&S advertising.

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