AIS London has proved there is life after agency founders leave by scooping the Waitrose CRM account from under the nose of Kitcatt Nohr Digitas.
The win will be even sweeter for the new management team as, along with Partners Andrews Aldridge, the agency lost the original 2006 pitch for the business which saw Kitcatt Nohr walk off with the spoils.
Kitcatt Nohr went on to develop and roll out the “myWaitrose” loyalty club and was working on the “my John Lewis” version.
The appointment means Kitcatt Nohr has now lost both accounts; it had declined to pitch for the John Lewis CRM business to concentrate on Waitrose. Proximity London scooped that account in May.
AIS won following a review run by the AAR and the John Lewis Partnership procurement team. It pipped both Kitcatt Nohr and MRM Meteorite in a final shoot-out.
Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: “We’re enormously grateful to the team at Kitcatt Nohr Digitas for all their hard work and creativity. They have played an important role in the success of a wide range of projects.
“We’re looking forward to working with the team at AIS and have been particularly impressed by their professionalism and innovation within CRM. They will work alongside our in-house team to develop our CRM strategy, including driving forward our myWaitrose scheme.”
Kitcatt Nohr chief executive of Marc Nohr Digitas said: “We wish Rupert and his team all the very best.”
Last month, creative chief Steve Stretton became the last co-founder to leave AIS after taking up an interim ECD role at Proximity London. Jon Ingall was the first partner to leave, in 2010, and quit agency life altogether, while Stuart Archibald followed at the tail end of 2011. He recently launched another agency in his native Australia, Archibald Williams.
The AIS management team of Sarah Stratford, managing partner, strategy; Geoff Gower, managing partner, creative, and Stephen Watford, managing partner, commercial, have effectively been in charge of the business since late last year.
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