Kingfisher, owner of B&Q, Superdrug, Woolworths and Comet, is
reviewing its public affairs account, currently held by AS Biss.
The move follows the arrival of corporate affairs director Mike Hingston
at the beginning of the year. Hingston returned from retirement in
France to take up the Kingfisher job.
Hingston founded Paragon Communications, one of the most successful
agencies of the 1980s, which he later sold to Shandwick.
APCO, AS Biss, Charles Barker BSMG, the Public Policy Unit and
Westminster Strategy are all shortlisted for the account. A decision is
expected by the end of the month.
AS Biss inherited the Kingfisher account from Ian Greer Associates. The
agency’s chairman, Adele Biss, founded AS Biss with managing director
Jeremy Sweeney, who left IGA when the business collapsed following
1994’s cash for questions scandal.
Kingfisher already works with APCO’s Brussels office, which is retained
to handle pan-European public affairs.
The group, which runs 1,500 stores in the UK, has been expanding in
Last year’s merger of B&Q with French DIY chain Castorama means
Kingfisher is Europe’s largest DIY retailer and market leader in the UK
The group already owns French electrical retailer Darty, and is Europe’s
second largest electrical retailer. It is considering further expansion
in Europe this year.
The group’s last half-yearly results, in September 1998, showed profits
were up 43.3 per cent to pounds 226.3 million, and group sales were up
8.9 per cent to pounds 3.01 billion.
Kingfisher retains Financial Dynamics to handle its financial PR.