WH Smith books Lowe Bell for literacy drive

High street retailer WH Smith has brought in Lowe Bell Political to aid its work with the Government on a major literacy drive.

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

fees.



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

campaign.



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

units.



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.



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