DFS and Moneysupermarket provide rare opportunities for new wave UK agencies

Zoom and Teams are going to be creaking with creative pitches across the next few weeks as both furniture maker DFS and comparison site Moneysupermarket look for new agencies. Moneysupermarket has departed Engine after two years (after what seemed a decent start although the mooing end line gets a bit wearing) while DFS is looking around from Krow after a long tenure.

Often the reason for such creative reviews is a new CMO, but that’s life.

Both accounts are interesting because, for a newish UK agency there are only a few accounts available that offer real scale while eluding international holding company deals. One is a bank, another a retailer and a third a price comparison site.

New Commercial Arts, the agency formed by adam&eve founders James Murphy and David Golding, with Ian Heartfield from BBH and Rob Curran from Wunderman Thompson, burst on the scene last year with a bank, Halifax from adam&eveDDB. It’s since added Vodafone global creative (we wait to see how that pans out) and a big project from Uber but such global opportunities are not usually available for one country start-ups. Murphy and Golding’s reputation crosses borders.

Uncommon Creative Studio, MAA’s UK creative ogency of the year for 2020, has been picking up business left, right and centre. It won bed retailer Dreams 18 months ago, which might rule out DFS, although we haven’t seen much from them since.

Mother, now a 25-year old veteran of the UK (and international scene) handled Moneysupermarket for years with its trademark brio. Mother is so good these days it’s a surprise when an account leaves. Might Moneysupermarket return home?

Pitch consultants are paid a lot of money for knowing more about these things than we do (but if anyone wants a shortlist we’re very reasonable.) But if you added in, say, Wieden+Kennedy and maybe MullenLowe (riding high on its NHS work, both are networks) you shouldn’t be far away.

Of course agencies don’t fancy some clients for a variety of reasons. Some, maybe all, of the above can afford to be picky.

But big-spending local accounts don’t come along very often and now we have two.

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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.