Holland & Barrett switches ATL spend from RKCR/Y&R to FCB Inferno to fuel digital drive

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Holland & Barrett switches ATL spend from RKCR/Y&R to FCB Inferno to fuel digital drive

Holland & Barrett has added FCB Inferno to its agency roster as the retailer begins to move away from above-the-line advertising and toward a more digital and content led approach.

RKCR/Y&R took on the £9m creative account three years ago and has overseen all of the health retailer’s major ATL campaigns under the ‘Good Life’ positioning.

While the agency will remain on the roster, the majority of Holland & Barrett’s ad spend will now be diverted to FCB Inferno as it ramps up its digital output. 

FCB Inferno will report to Emma Hobbs, group head of brand and marketing for Holland & Barrett International, while RKCR/Y&R will now report to Tim Lawrence, director of customer marketing.

“Taking Holland & Barrett to the next level means working with the best creative agencies and making the most of new channels,” said Hobbs. “We’re excited to have FCB Inferno on board and look forward to bringing to life what makes the brand truly special.”

The review does not affect Carat Manchester or Pegasus, which handle media buying and PR respectively.

It comes as a blow to RKCR/Y&R which has lost a swathe of business in the past 18 months, including Lloyds Bank, Vodafone, and Land Rover. It’s currently fighting to retain client of 16-years Marks and Spencer after it put the creative business under review earlier this year.

Digital-led retailer  

Holland & Barrett’s desire to move away from ploughing marketing budget into TV ads has been on the cards for some time given that it has been significantly increasing investment into digital elsewhere in the business over the past two years.

In 2014, the first Store of the Future was opened where it planned to trial emerging technologies such as beacons. Simultaneously it overhauled its website and click and collect offering, which was recently rolled out nationwide.

As of last December, the retailer set an ambitious target of almost doubling annual sales to £1bn after reporting an 11.7 per cent hike in full-year revenues.


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