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Co-operative unveils new agency roster

The Co-operative Group has appointed TBWA\Manchester as its lead advertising agency following an extensive roster review that started last summer.

The Didsbury-based agency has worked with the Co-op on its food advertising since 2008 and will replace incumbent McCann Erickson, which did not re-pitch.

A total of 14 agencies make up the new Co-op roster. Eleven of the agencies, like the Manchester-based Co-op itself, are based in the north west.

Alongside TBWA the roster agencies are:

SUPPORT CREATIVE: Refinery, Delineo, Dinosaur, GHMC (Bristol)
DIRECT MARKETING: TDA LLP (Cheltenham), Refinery
BRAND IDENTITY: The Chase
DIGITAL DESIGN: Amaze, Rapp (Edinburgh)
ARTWORK/PRODUCTION: APS, Papyrus, Fresh Create, Artwork Express 

The Co-op said the agencies were chosen following a "rigorous selection process" and the results were collated using a scorecard involving "creative pitches, ethical credentials and commercial negotiations".

Recently appointed director of marketing, Patrick Allen, said: "We are a major business based in the north west and as such I believe wherever possible we should support local companies.

"The quality of the ideas and the depth of thinking demonstrated by the regional agencies was first class and I look forward to working with all the appointed agencies as we continue The Co-operative renaissance.

"We have reduced the number of agencies being used across the Group which will have a positive impact on both brand consistency, service levels and costs." 

As well as streamling its agency roster, it emerged yesterday that the Co-op had made senior staff redundant as part of cutbacks in its marketing and buying departments.

Last year the company, which operates food, funerals, travel, pharmacy, motoring and financial and legal services brands, ran a high-profile £10m brand campaign notable for its use of the Bob Dylan song Blowin' in the Wind.

Earlier this month, it launched a national advertising campaign created by TBWA\Manchester to raise awareness of its plans for the Somerfield brand.

The new roster comes into force on 1 February.

Featured by The Drum