Jessops moves to lift City profile

Jessops, the UK’s biggest photographic and imaging equipment retail chain, is launching a corporate PR blitz as the company looks to raise its profile with the City.

The company has appointed Hogarth Partnership to lead the new account following a pitch against Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Gavin Anderson.

Symon Powell, who joined Jessops as brand development director last year, said his initial focus had been on consumer PR, which is handled for the retailer by Web Associates.

However, Powell said that he now wants to focus on raising the company’s corporate profile, focusing in particular on the company’s growth over the past five years. During that period the number of Jessops outlets in the UK grew threefold to 255.

‘We have never had a PR firm handling corporate PR before, and our efforts in this area have not been practical enough in the past,’ he said.

Hogarth partners James Longfield and Rachel Hirst are leading the account and report to Powell and Jessops chief executive Derek Hine, finance director John Crabtree, and head of marketing Karen Lamerick.

In November last year, Jessops posted a 94 per cent increase in sales for the three years to 30 September 2003, bringing in £242m in revenue. The company is owned by ABN Amro Capital, which acquired the chain in October 2002.

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