Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group completes comms reshuffle

The owner of Argos and Homebase has called in Blue Rubicon and Shine Communications as it looks to engage more with current affairs.

Argos: Owned by Home Retail Group
Argos: Owned by Home Retail Group

Blue Rubicon’s sister agency Surname & Surname will also join the new line-up for planned corporate and consumer PR projects for the Home Retail Group, the latter of which was previously handled by Iris PR.

RLM Finsbury will remain the company’s city agency, while Wilson Hartnell will continue to cover the Republic of Ireland.

Chris Wermann, director of corporate affairs, said that the reshuffle was part of a ‘fundamental shift’ in the way the company handled comms.

Part of the move was to differentiate the brands from growing online-only competition, he said, adding: ‘It is about handling some of the big ticket multi-stakeholder agendas while developing the brand point of view.

'We want to continue to create a point of difference between ourselves and the competition and become a consumer champion, with corporate responsibility a big part of the agenda.’

Wermann added: ‘Corporate affairs for Home Retail Group and its retail businesses Homebase and Argos is very strategically aligned to both business needs and our consumers and other stakeholders. The team have become embedded in the commercial planning processes of the businesses and the extra in-house resource will help us to deliver even more broadly than before.’
Laura Weston, managing partner at Iris PR, said: ‘We have helped HRG to understand the power of PR through the years and we have enjoyed the journey. But recently it’s been difficult to push through the kind of creative product we believe the brands need to revitalise their fortunes and that we have seen work successfully with our other clients.'

Alongside the agency appointments, HRG is set to bring in Claire Abercrombie from William Murray for the new role of consumer media relations manager, working across all brands.

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