Morrisons shakes up comms as new boss Dalton Philips takes the reins

Resurgent supermarket chain Morrisons has kicked off a wide-ranging PR review as it begins life under a new chief executive.

Happy shoppers: Morrisons to open up new stores
Happy shoppers: Morrisons to open up new stores

The supermarket chain currently uses Lexis for consumer PR, Citigate Dewe Rogerson for corporate and financial, and Good Relations for public affairs.

But an overhaul of its PR agency arrangements will see Morrisons dropping Lexis PR, with a view to consolidating all of its PR into one or two agencies, PRWeek understands.

The winning agency is expected to handle a wide-ranging six-figure brief that will include consumer, public affairs and corporate. Citigate Dewe Rogerson is expected to keep hold of its financial retainer.

Morrisons' sales increased by six per cent to £15.4bn in the year to 31 January, and the supermarket chain rec­ently outlined ambitious exp­ansion plans (see below).

The PR shake-up comes a week after Morrisons' new chief executive Dalton Philips took up his post at the helm of the Bradford-based supermarket chain. Philips succeeds Marc Bolland, who left to head up Marks & Spencer as chief executive.

PR manager Stella Pitt dec­lined to comment on the comms review. A source close to the process said Morrisons was aiming to ‘improve synergy within its communications without managing multiple agency relationships'.

Lexis has worked on the account since 2006 but will not be repitching for the business. It is understood that Citigate Dewe Rogerson has expressed an interest in pitching for the all-encompassing brief, which could inc­lude a consortium of Huntsworth-owned agencies.

The process is expected to be carried out over the next three months.  The Morrisons comms team is headed up by group marketing and comms director Angus McIver.


Morrisons' plans

Morrisons was the fastest growing of the big four retailers over Christmas

Last month, Morrisons reported annual profits were up by a fifth to £767m, and said it would open 140,000 sq metres of store space over the next three years

It also plans to improve the quality and the perception of quality of its ready meals and fruit and vegetables.

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