Agencies primed for Ikea consumer account battle

Ikea is set to split with Cake as the furniture giant pushes for better integration across its UK PR and marketing activity.

Expansion: Ikea has permission to build another store in Reading
Expansion: Ikea has permission to build another store in Reading

The Swedish firm has initiated early-stage talks with a range of agencies as it trawls for new consumer PR help.

Meera Shah, PR and internal comms manager for Ikea in the UK, said the comms team is currently ‘re-evaluating how we look at PR’.

Shah said the priority will be achieving fully integrated work on its campaigns in a joint effort with its other marcoms agencies.

Pointing to the recently launched Living Together campaign as an example, she added: ‘Getting more integrated, so that every [agency] function has a part, is key to us, as is having really strong press office support.’

Ikea, which is using comms matchmaker AAR to support the search process, currently works with Mother for advertising, Vizeum for media buying and Primal for local marketing.

It is understood that as part of the discussions agencies’ corporate offering, currently provided on an ad-hoc basis by London-based agency Sermelo, may also be taken into consideration.

Ikea handled the recent crisis concerning horse DNA being found in its meatballs in-house, with Cake looking after social media on the issue – a separate ongoing digital brief which it retains.

Michelle Charles, head of PR and social at Cake, said: ‘We’ve had a good relationship with Ikea since being appointed in October 2009, but due to changing business demands Ikea will be re-evaluating its PR going forward. We will not be repitching.’

The review follows a strong year for the retailer in the UK, with revenues up 6.3 per cent to £1.2bn despite a challenging consumer environment.

Ikea invested £30m in its 18 UK stores last year and has secured planning permission for another in Reading.

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