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MCBD beats three to take £17m Debenhams account

LONDON - Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy has won the £17m advertising account for department store chain Debenhams, following a four-way pitch.

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MCBD won after a pitch against incumbent WCRS, as well as Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners and Clemmow Hornby Inge, in a review that was handled by Agency Assessments.

It is the second piece of bad news for WCRS this week, which was down to the final two for the £12m Weetabix account but lost out to DDB London.

The appointment comes as Debenhams revealed plans to increase its marketing spend by up to 10%, including more television advertising, and introduce a more integrated approach to make sure brand campaign themes are carried through in-store.

The pitch was overseen by Alison Jones, head of marketing at Debenhams. She told Marketing magazine this week: "Our 'Designers at Debenhams' campaign has been successful, but we need to be more integrated for the next stage."

The first campaign will appear in March to promote Debenhams' spring/summer 2005 collection.

WCRS held the account for almost five years after it was appointed in 1999. The review follows the change in ownership earlier this year and the departure of Debenhams marketing chief Hugh Bradley, who quit the chain after 32 years.

Bradley took early retirement shortly after the arrival of former Homebase chief Rob Templeman as chief executive, who was brought in by new owners Baroness Retail, a consortium led by CVC Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group, after its £1.7bn takeover.

In September, Rebecca Loos, the woman who claims she had an affair with England captain David Beckham, was signed as the face of Debenhams' jewellery range.

Martin Bowley’s content creation agency Amplified, which is backed by MCBD, also played a key role in the pitch.

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