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£30m MFI coup for McCann Birmingham

McCann Erickson Communications House, Birmingham has won the £30m MFI Retail account.

The agency will handle media planning and buying, strategy and creative for the home interest brand, replacing incumbent suppliers Zenith Optimedia and M&C Saatchi.

McCann Birmingham chief executive Dean Lovett told The Drum: "I can't think of any bigger accounts that have been won out of London.

"This is a major win for our Birmingham operation, but it is also significant for the region's advertising industry; not only proving that the region's best agencies can compete with London but also that the Communications House media-neutral approach to marketing is being sought by a number of the large advertisers."

Zenith and M&C Saatchi handled a brand-led ad campaign in 2007, however, McCann has been brought in to develop communications focused on building sales and footfall.

MFI's marketing director, Michael Greenhalgh, said: "Our decision to appoint McCann Erickson is based on their ability to offer an integrated approach to communications. As our business moves into year two of our five-year turnaround plan, we need business partners who will help us achieve the stand-out, cut-through, footfall and sales that the business deserves and needs."

The account will be led by Peter Gamble, who joined last year from McCann Manchester.

He said: "The world of consumer retail communications moves very quickly, especially within a tough retail climate. This is why we have a team of retail-oriented specialists, dedicated fast-track creative, production and studio systems, all ready to develop creative excellence that can have a positive effect on MFI's bottom line."

Universal McCann and McCann-i, the agency's media and digital teams, will be key to the activity, helping MFI look at the different channels available for communicating with its audience.

Lovett revealed the agency will be looking to hire around 27 new staff as a result of the win, which has achieved 50 percent growth in the last two years.

Featured by The Drum