Compass owns up to bogus project

Compass Group has admitted that the mall café branding project it orchestrated a two-stage pitch for in the summer was a phantom.

Compass Group has admitted that the mall café branding project it orchestrated a two-stage pitch for in the summer was a phantom.

The mythical mall café brand was merely a means of testing how consultancies work and assessing their suitability for working on existing Compass brands, a spokeswoman confirms.

The world’s second largest food services company deliberately misled consultancies into believing they were pitching for the creation of a major new brand for shopping centres around the country, including naming and interiors work.

Five groups were selected to pitch from the 11 that were involved in an initial round of presentations in July. They were Groupe Leçon, Design House, Corsie Naysmith, Conran Design Group and the now defunct Eigg (DW 9 August). At the time it was understood that up to three consultancies would share the spoils and that work would begin as soon as the appointments were made.

‘[Consultancies] were asked to look at a particular project. That was the mall cafés project. Which was just to assess the agencies and how they work. The project was never intended to go live,’ says the spokeswoman.

The real intention of the food services giant is to select a consultancy to implement existing Compass Group brands across the retail and leisure sectors, she says. Existing brands, such as Upper Crust, Delimento and the Reef Bar, may be taken into shopping centres.

‘We will appoint a retained agency to be consistent in implementing current Compass Group and Compass Group UK brands across retail and leisure,’ says the spokeswoman.

She confirms that Design House and Groupe Leçon have made the final shootout and that an appointment will be made before Christmas. She refuses to comment on whether the work will be split between the two consultancies, or the length or value of the contract.

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