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MediaCom wins £23m Courts media

LONDON - Furniture retailer Courts has appointed MediaCom to handle its £23m media-planning and buying business.

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The business had been handled by Carat and was moved without a formal review. The retailer began looking at its media business towards the end of last year and was understood to have held several credentials meetings with media agencies. The account has been the subject of speculation several times in the past few years.

However, Courts' marketing controller Andrew Hickling denied a review was imminent, saying meetings following Courts' trip to the Marketing Forum on the Aurora in September 2001 could have led to speculation about the future of the account.

Hickling said: "We have had a good relationship with Carat for the past eight years and it has done excellent work for us. However, we will be launching new concept stores, a new logo and brand image, as well as addressing new market segments over the coming year. We, therefore, want a new media agency to take a fresh look at our media strategy."

The business was won by MediaCom's new regional operation MediaCom Accent, which handles regional and local media-planning and buying. The agency was launched in December with the intention of pitching for new business separately from its parent agency and will take over the Courts business in September.

Courts is the UK's second-largest furniture advertiser. It has raised its spending from the £5m a year originally inherited by Carat. Rival DFS spends around £30m a year, while the smaller Uno Upholstery spends just £6m.

The Courts creative business is held by RPM3, which picked up Courts' creative account from CDP in 1998 and is not affected by the review.

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