Interflora pitches for consumer PR agency

Flower-delivery network Interflora is staging a pitch for consumer PR agency support across the UK and Ireland.

Interflora interim head of marketing David Standing confirmed this week that he plans to hold ‘initial chemistry meetings’ with ‘around a dozen’ PR agencies.

Standing, who has already met nine agencies, said he would whittle them down to a four-strong shortlist, with pitches likely within a month.

Incumbent agency Lexis PR is assured of a place on the shortlist, Standing said.

The pitch process is part of an ongoing ‘creative review’, which has been triggered by a raft of personnel changes in the marketing team.

Interflora’s marketing spend is controlled by marketing director Michael Barringer, who joined in late March from a similar role as at photography equipment giant Kodak.

Standing himself joined Interflora in January from a role as marketing director at out-of-town retailer Furniture Village.

He stressed that a decision on which agency to hire would be made next month from those on his existing longlist, adding that the appointed agency would ‘contribute strategically, both independently and as part of our overall [marcoms] agency roster’, handling work including crisis management, in addition to core consumer PR work.

Pitches will be made to Stan-ding, Barringer and head of brand Lyn Davies, who joined in March from toys firm VTech Electronics, where she was Euro-pean marketing and product development manager.

Lexis took control of the consumer PR account when it bought Propeller Direction, the consumer and events arm of the Propeller Group, in October 2001 (PRWeek, 27 October 2001).

Interflora has around 2,000 member florists in the UK and Ireland. The flower-delivery sector is facing growing competition from retailers such as Next and Debenhams.

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