High street retailer WH Smith has brought in Lowe Bell Political to
aid its work with the Government on a major literacy drive.
Lowe Bell is spearheading the campaign after taking over the account
from Profile. W H Smith is expected to try to position itself as the
best source of reading material, linking in to the Government’s push for
a higher standard of adult literacy.
Lowe Bell was one of four agencies, including incumbent Profile, which
pitched for the account. It has been retained on an ongoing basis for
the business, thought to be worth at least pounds 150,000 a year in
Shortly after winning the election the Government unveiled plans for
summer literacy schools. W H Smith is still keeping final details of its
involvement under wraps but Tim Blythe, corporate affairs director, told
PR Week that plans were well advanced.
Blythe joined WH Smith in January from Brunswick where he had headed up
the WH Smith corporate communications account. Shortly after his
appointment group press manager Neville Wells was made redundant and
Blythe brought in a new team.
WH Smith has battled against a poor public and City image. Last year it
brought inCountrywide Communications to implement a new corporate
The retailer has lost out on sales of books, magazines and stationery -
traditionally its strongest area - to supermarkets.
Blythe told PR Week that he was now finalising plans to introduce an
integrated communications plan across all the WH Smith business
This meant, he said, that each division, such as Our Price records and
Waterstones bookshops would be working to the same PR brief.
The new account brings the total of fees won by Lowe Bell Political
since the general election to pounds 250,000. Aside from WH Smith it has
also secured poster advertising company Maiden Outdoor, Eversholt, the
train carriage leasing operation, and West Middlesex Hospital Trust.