Green plays the Grinch with Christmas challenge to M&S

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The Independent Online

Philip Green, the retail billionaire, is planning a TV advertising campaign for two of his main brands, which will increase the pressure on his elusive takeover target, Marks & Spencer.

Philip Green, the retail billionaire, is planning a TV advertising campaign for two of his main brands, which will increase the pressure on his elusive takeover target, Marks & Spencer.

Advertising agency HHCL/ Red Cell has been asked to come up with adverts for Bhs, which are likely to run in the weeks before Christmas, while rival firm Grey is working on a TV campaign for womenswear brand Dorothy Perkins.

Though Mr Green insists both moves are commercial decisions, they will be interpreted as attempts to put pressure on M&S and its new chief executive, Stuart Rose, after Mr Green dropped his £9bn bid approach for the retailer.

Mr Green said that the Bhs campaign had been under consideration since he bought the company four years ago. "All the variety store retailers advertise in the fourth quarter," he said. "It's been on our menu for some time but we've not yet decided if we will do it."

The Dorothy Perkins TV campaign is more certain, timed to coincide with the launch of Mr Rose's "Your M&S" ad campaign this autumn. However, Mr Green said it was "only a trial".

Mr Green said he had no idea how much the campaign would cost. Industry experts expect him to spend at least £10m, more than a quarter of the annual marketing budget of his retail empire.

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