M&S clothing departs Grey with ODD agency choice

Troubled retailer Marks & Spencer (most of them are pretty troubled these days as online shopping lays waste the UK high street) has sprung a surprise by appointing specialist agency ODD to handle its clothing and home account. The business moves from Grey, which still has M&S’s food business.

M&S clothing and home marketing director Nathan Ansell says: “As we transform M&S, we need more targeted, inspirational and relevant customer marketing to restore our style credentials. As part of this, it’s important we have the right creative agency support, so we’re delighted to have appointed ODD, where the team has real expertise in clothing and home marketing.

“Together, we’ll be looking to build on early successes with our digital first approach to campaigns including ‘Holly’s must haves’ and to better utilise data for ‘always-on’ cross-channel campaigns.”

ODD has worked on Dr Martens, F&F, Primark, Mr Porter, Eastpak, Seafolly, Perry Ellis, Levi’s and River Island.

Ansell won’t be the most popular person in the upper echelons of adland having spurned the advances of The&Partnership and Pablo in the final pitch and M&C Saatchi and Uncommon Studio (formed by a former Grey team) earlier.

But M&S has spent heavily on conventional advertising in recent years, first with Y&R and then with Grey without a noticeable improvement to its core clothing business.

The choice of ODD is a blow to Nils Leonard’s Uncommon, which keeps almost winning big accounts, and WPP which has had an iron grip on the retailer in recent years. When it left Y&R it held a WPP-only pitch.

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About Stephen Foster

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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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