Grayling Group wins British Toy group remit

The Grayling Group has been appointed to handle a wide-ranging

pounds 250,000 account with the British Toy and Hobby Association

(BTHA).



The three-year brief includes consumer and corporate PR, PA, and issues

management responsibilities. Grayling assumes the brief from incumbent

GCI UK, which was also involved in the pitch.



The agency will be tasked with providing general support for the BTHA,

as well as specific work on its two major events in the toy industry

calendar.



January's Toyfair, held in London's Docklands, is one of the main

opportunities for manufacturers to promote their wares to retailers,

while the agency will also work on October's Total Fun event at Earl's

Court in London.



The latter event is consumer-oriented, allowing children to sample the

latest products, although there is no opportunity to make purchases.



The two-pronged account is led by Grayling Group vice-chairman Michael

Burrell on the issues management side, while chief executive Amanda

Riddle heads the PR taskforce. The account reports to BTHA chairman

Jimmy Hunter and director-general David Hawtin.



The account for the trade body, which was founded in 1944, was won

following a four-way pitch. The BTHA's 220 members account for 95 per

cent of the British toy and games market, which is valued at around

pounds 1.6bn. The BTHA aims to represent the interests of toy

manufacturers and raise standards within the industry, launching the

Lion mark symbol in 1989 as a certificate for recommended products.



Last year, the BBC's commercial arm achieved record sales of pounds 20m

thanks to the merchandising of characters such as Bob the Builder, which

has spawned an array of toy products.



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