The Grayling Group has been appointed to handle a wide-ranging
pounds 250,000 account with the British Toy and Hobby Association
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
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.