The DIY giant made the surprise move after long-term incumbents Hill & Knowlton and Red Consultancy both declined to repitch for the business. H&K held the corporate account for 19 years and Red Consultancy held the consumer account for 14 years.
Retail specialist Z PR will oversee all activities, including consumer, corporate and CSR. However, it is thought the public affairs part of the brief may yet remain with H&K.
B&Q head of external relations Jacqueline Caston said: ‘We wanted a new approach and innovative thinking. Cost is obviously a factor too.’
The decision follows the appointment of Euan Sutherland as B&Q CEO a year ago. Sutherland previously headed Superdrug, for which Z PR similarly handles all PR activities.
The account team will be led by MD Zaria Pinchbeck. She said: ‘We will be working to develop consumer and corporate campaigns that position B&Q as the market leader that it is.’