Menzies turns to Media House to stop Tesco deal

Newsagent chain John Menzies has hired Media House in a bid to halt an exclusive magazine distribution deal between rival WH Smith and Tesco.

Newsagent chain John Menzies has hired Media House in a bid to halt

an exclusive magazine distribution deal between rival WH Smith and

Tesco.



Under the WH Smith-Tesco deal, which will come into force later this

year, Tesco will only sell products supplied by WH Smith. This is likely

to cost the wholesale arm of John Menzies, together with distribution

company Surridge Dawson, an estimated annual pounds 30 million.



There has been concern in the magazine industry that the deal gives

Tesco unfair clout over WH Smith and threatens rural newsagents by

pushing supplier costs up to untenable levels.



Jack Irvine, executive chairman of Media House, was contacted last week

by Ian Callaghan, MD of John Menzies Wholesale and David Blundell, group

MD for Surridge Dawson’s parent, Dawson Holdings.



The account team, working for crisis hourly fee rates, will be headed by

Irvine and include directors Tom Cassidy, on crisis media relations and

David Lutton, heading up the lobbying side. The companies hope media

coverage, together with the regulatory implications of the exclusive

deal, will prove its downfall.



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