Fishburn Hedges bags £100k John Lewis public affairs work

The John Lewis Partnership has selected Fishburn Hedges to advise it on lobbying and corporate affairs. The agency will take over from Luther Pendragon following a competitive pitch process.

John Lewis: appoints Fishburn Hedges
John Lewis: appoints Fishburn Hedges

PRWeek revealed last month that the partnership, owner of John Lewis and Waitrose, was on the hunt for a new agency to help it influence government policy.

A tender document drawn up by the John Lewis Partnership stated: 'As political and media interest remains high, and we have excellent access to decision makers, we are seeking opportunities to continue influencing public debate but also to deliver tangible policy wins in areas of strategic importance for the business.'

Luther was appointed in 2008, but was not invited to repitch for the £100,000-a-year account.

The win is a boost for Fishburn Hedges' public affairs arm, following the appointment of Dermot Finch, chief executive of the Centre for Cities, as head of public affairs.

Since Finch took the helm in September 2010, Fishburn Hedges has been keen to showcase its firepower in public affairs.

But the public affairs market remains highly competitive and in March 2011 Fishburn was hit by the departure of highly regarded public affairs director Simon Redfern to start-up agency Pagefield.

Finch said of the John Lewis win: 'This appointment is an endorsement of our policy-led approach to public affairs.'

Citigate Dewe Rogerson will continue to support the company on financial and corporate comms, and The Red Consultancy will still handle consumer comms.

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