Europe’s largest independent mobile retailer confirmed to PRWeek that it had hired JCPR to handle its consumer brief, replacing seven-year incumbent Freuds.
Although it is believed that there was not a formal pitch process, it is thought the firm app-roached a select group of agencies around a month ago about the brief.
It is understood that Carphone Warehouse moved the account in order to consolidate a greater amount of work into one agency for financial reasons.
The brief now includes press office, brand comms and work on sister brand Geek Squad. It is believed Freuds declined to repitch for the newly consolidated account.
Freuds first won the retained account in 2005, having handled former sister company TalkTalk’s high profile sponsorship of Big Brother.
Agency founder Matthew Freud has been close to Carphone Warehouse co-founder and chairman Charles Dunstone. The pair have been identified in the media as part of the ‘Chipping Norton set’, which includes Prime Minister David Cameron, and they previously went into business together to invest in environmental metering company 2 Save Energy in 2010.
Freuds was also taken on to spearhead American retail giant Best Buy’s consumer account when it launched in the UK. The UK venture was a 50:50 partnership between Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy, but the 11 UK stores shut in late 2011. Freuds’ PR account was repitched in early 2011, with JCPR eventually picking up the brief.
Carphone Warehouse confirmed it had appointed JCPR, but declined to comment further. JCPR and Freuds also declined to comment.
Carphone Warehouse in the news
- Carphone Warehouse saw a decline in sales last year due to weak demand for pay-as-you-go handsets.
- The UK-listed group posted a small annual profit for the year to 31 March, but saw European high street revenues fall by 5.5 per cent to £3.3bn.
- Co-founder Charles Dunstone was given a knighthood this month for ‘services to the mobile comms industry and charity’.