Studio Retail, the online shopping company which sells clothing, greeting cards, gifts, and home and garden items, has strengthened its relationship with MediaCom North following competitive pitch.
The company, which was recently bought out of administration by Mike Ashley’s Fraser Group in a £26.8m deal, has expanded the agency’s remit beyond TV planning and buying to include full digital delivery across PPC, SEO, affiliates, display, paid social and data strategy.
Studio cited MediaCom’s digital capabilities as a key factor in the appointment which sees the agency handed an additional £15m of digital media spend, on top of the existing £7.5m annual media planning and buying budget.
The brand previously used a roster of media agencies.
Studio.co.uk customer and digital director Chris Chalmers said: “The consolidation of our media buying was key to enabling the optimisation across all channels to deliver effectiveness and to drive our continued growth and efficiencies.
“We saw a lot of great pitches, but MediaCom really stood out, presenting a range of both core and innovative ideas that excited the whole team.
“We have worked with MediaCom for several years and we are confident the team will do a great job for us in their new, expanded remit.”
MediaCom North chief operating officer Paul Cooper added: “A key part of our pitch was to show Studio how we could drive a significant increase in sales and effectiveness, through better use of first party data within platforms, managing the changing shape of their audiences.
“This, coupled with holistic planning across all channels to ensure creativity, is at the heart to brand communications has a multiplying effect.
“Our ability to optimise the consumer journey, to ensure spend is maximised, is key to a business that has a mix of new and repeat customers, like Studio.co.uk’s.”
The online retailer was founded in Accrington, Lancashire in 1955 as a greeting card company and following a number of mergers and acquisitions became Findel PLC in 2000. The catalogue arm then became Express Gifts but rebranded once more in 2018 as Studio Retail.
In January this year, the company boosted its data strategy with the establishment of a 35-strong data team, which has been working on a target operating model, a data governance framework, and an approach for data integrity as well as a new cloud data platform, based on Snowflake and Azure.
However, in February, the online retailer signalled that it was likely to fall into administration after its request for a short-term loan from its bank was rejected. Studio needed the loan while it sold through excess stock it was left with after shipping issues caused delivery delays.
Fraser Group, which was already its biggest shareholder with a 28.9% stake, completed the acquisition within a week.
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