Co-op Group to hold pitch for funerals brief

The Co-operative Group is to put together a roster of PR agencies to better promote its funeral services business.

Countrywide Porter Novelli, Staniforth Communications and Communique have pitched for a place on the roster, as have Lancashire-based Catapult PR and Tangerine PR and Brahm PR.

Group deputy head of PR Phil Edwards said GCI was also in the running for the work.

Edwards, who said a decision on which firms had secured a place on the roster was expected 'within two to three weeks', added: 'It is very likely we will draw from this seven, but the door is always open.'

The Co-op is striving to tap into demand for more personalised funerals, with Edwards saying that more 'discussion' needed to be stimulated about 'what is still a taboo subject'.

QBO has promoted the Co-op's funeral services business for the past two years but is not involved in this repitch, although it continues to handle PR for the Co-op's food retail operation.

Edwards said: 'QBO has done some good work but we felt it was time to move on and try new things.'

In the past year, the Co-op has launched various initiatives to differentiate its funeral services brand. More than 80 funeral homes have adopted the Funeralcare brand, which has a lighter design than the sombre template typical in the sector.

The Co-op has around 525 funeral homes throughout the UK and handles around 90,000 funerals each year. It also operates two coffin factories and a national memorial masonry service.

Alongside Edwards, Co-op Group specialist retail division head of marketing Pauline O'Beirne and Funeralcare head of marketing Lorinda Sheasby are co-ordinating the drawing up of the roster, which will also include agencies that work in other marketing services sectors.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in