Littlewoods had used WPP agencies Neo@Ogilvy and MediaCom North to handle the activity, but has moved its lucrative account to Unique, whose parent firm Syzygy is part-owned by WPP, in advance of ramping up its search spend.
The account includes the search brief for Littlewoods’ flagship site, Littlewoodsdirect.com, and its range of 10 retail sites that include Greatuniversal.com, Kayslifestyle.co.uk and Choice.co.uk.
Littlewoods, often billed as the biggest mail order company in the UK, is increasingly reliant on the internet as a media channel. Direct mail fell 6% in the 12 months to June 2007, according to Nielsen Media Research, and Littlewoods is turning to other forms of below-the-line advertising to increase sales.
The appointment of Unique Digital follows a multimillion pound effort to raise the brand’s profile earlier this year. Littlewoods launched its first above-the-line ad campaign in five years in April through Prego and WCRS.
The campaign used makeover gurus Trinny and Susannah to promote Littlewoodsdirect.com as “the home of big brands”. It extended across TV and print, while two million e-mails were sent as part of the drive to get customers to visit the retailer’s websites.
Littlewoods uses a range of agencies, including MediaCom, Carat and digital specialist DC Interact, across its range of brands.
Unique Digital refused to comment on the appointment, while Littlewoods was unavailable as Media Week went to press.