Homebase to retain AMV on £24m advertising job

Homebase is poised to re-appoint advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to its £24m advertising account, after entering into final discussions with senior agency executives.

It is understood that the DIY retailer has not called in Lowe, which was competing in a final shoot-out against AMV, for any further negotiations.

Euro RSCG and M&C Saatchi have already been eliminated from the pitch.

AMV has held the business for 15 years. Homebase is expected to rubber-stamp the appointment later this week.

Following the review, conducted by marketing director Ajay Kavan, AMV is expected to drop Men Behaving Badly stars Neil Morrissey and Leslie Ash, who have fronted the chain's advertising for the past six years.

The TV duo were strongly associated with Homebase's value-for-money strategy, which is under review by parent GUS as it seeks to make the retailer a consumer lifestyle brand.

The advertising review comes just five months after Homebase centralised its media account into MindShare, dropping PHD, which had been handling media planning, from its roster.

Homebase, which recruited Kavan from rival B&Q late last year, is in talks with several direct marketing agencies and is considering an increase in customer relationship marketing around its Spend & Save programme next year.

Homebase has almost 300 outlets throughout the UK, serving more than 1m customers every week.

In 2001 the group was sold by Sainsbury's to venture capital group Permira for £491m. The following year, GUS bought it for £900m to complement its existing Argos retail catalogue shopping business.

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