Newsagent chain John Menzies has hired Media House in a bid to halt
an exclusive magazine distribution deal between rival WH Smith and
Under the WH Smith-Tesco deal, which will come into force later this
year, Tesco will only sell products supplied by WH Smith. This is likely
to cost the wholesale arm of John Menzies, together with distribution
company Surridge Dawson, an estimated annual pounds 30 million.
There has been concern in the magazine industry that the deal gives
Tesco unfair clout over WH Smith and threatens rural newsagents by
pushing supplier costs up to untenable levels.
Jack Irvine, executive chairman of Media House, was contacted last week
by Ian Callaghan, MD of John Menzies Wholesale and David Blundell, group
MD for Surridge Dawson’s parent, Dawson Holdings.
The account team, working for crisis hourly fee rates, will be headed by
Irvine and include directors Tom Cassidy, on crisis media relations and
David Lutton, heading up the lobbying side. The companies hope media
coverage, together with the regulatory implications of the exclusive
deal, will prove its downfall.