Landor Associates and Wolff Olins will go head to head next month for the post of brand guardian to Royal Mail, as the organisation moves to dramatically cut the number of creative agencies it works with.
The two are on a four-strong shortlist of advertising, design and direct mail ‘consortia’ competing to deliver an integrated approach to the £6bn brand. Landor and Wolff Olins are part of WPP Group and Omnicom camps, respectively.
Royal Mail head of marketing Paul Troy says the process is also about reducing the number of creative agencies on the company’s roster. Currently, 46 agencies work with the brand in various capacities and Troy says he would like to see this cut to less than 25. Troy is keen to avoid ‘fragmentation’ and also believes ‘too many’ design groups are involved at present.
‘We need more focus with a few high calibre people,’ Troy explains. ‘We want [one] lead group and a more integrated brand solution, only topping up on a need-basis with specialist [suppliers]. We want a big brand idea that we can take through-the-line when delivering the brand externally and internally.’
Landor director of brand consulting Ian Wood says efficiency and cost savings are driving Royal Mail’s integrated approach.
He adds the organisation, which has allocated £50m-£60m to its marketing budget this year, will be ‘looking for points of differentiation’ in the wake of the Consignia debacle, staff layoffs and chairman Allan Leighton’s bid to turn the business around.
Wolff Olins refused to comment. The pitch will be held in the first week of May, with a decision expected soon after.