Sotheby's hires Focus PR to 'de-mystify' auctions

Sotheby's has handed Focus PR a brief to de-mystify the process of

buying at auction and to attract young, first-time clients.

The agency, which won the business after a three-way pitch, will work

for 12 months on a media relations campaign on behalf of the new

Sotheby's Olympia auction house, which opened last month.

Account director Rhian Pearson said: 'We have been asked to get

lifestyle and national features to explain to people that auctions are

not as frightening as some people think. We will be working to encourage

younger people in particular to go to auctions.'

Sotheby's Olympia communications director Jackie Coulter said: 'As a

brand we have a reputation for selling very expensive works of art but

there are also things for sale in the high hundreds. We want to spread

the word and get people to realise that what we sell are not just

ancient dustables'.

Coulter added that the agency was appointed as 'I suspect the main

challenge for the agency will be making people think of auctions as fun,

convenient, exciting and novel ways of buying things'.

The campaign will include Sotheby's Olympia running free Sunday

afternoon 'Expert Eye' talks for people keen to learn more about a

specific area of goods.

Among those being covered each Sunday are Silver, Japanese Art, Clocks,

Watches and rock'n'roll memorabilia.

The account will be run by agency MD Hilary Meacham. She reports to

Coulter and Sotheby's Olympia MD Paul Sumner.

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