Stars align as Freemans picks agency for online drive

freemansOnline shopping group Freemans, the company which began life in 1905 in a terraced house based in Clapham, south London, is aiming for a 21 century media plan with the appointment of the7stars following a six month pitch process.

The Otto Group owned business, whose sister brands include Kaleidoscope, Curvissa and Grattan, kicked off the review of its £25m account in January; incumbent iProspect, which had held the brief for five years, pitched against Havas Market, the7stars and T&Pm.

The How to Buy a Gorilla Company and Slik Media led the media review.

Freemans was one of the last mail order giants to drop its printed catalogue, only scrapping it in the autumn of 2023. It has since shifted its entire business online and a new look and feel under the guise of Made You Look, with the help of agency Mullen Lowe. The shake-up saw customer visits to its website increase by 23%.

Freemans chief customer officer Richard Cristofoli said the company is a very different business than it was the last time the account was pitched.

“We’ve made massive in-roads on our digital transformation journey, while adding customer numbers and growing ahead of the market. Something that has been delivered with enthusiasm and passion by everyone in the business.”

He insisted it was the same passion for the business and the Freemans’ brand from the team at the7stars that was evident throughout the process alongside shared values of openness, flexibility, and transparency.

Cristofoli explained: “To continue to grow the business in a fiercely competitive market, the7stars clearly demonstrated a fully integrated, digital first approach that can add value- including practical applications of AI technology to drive performance.

“At the same time as congratulating them, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the pitch and to thank iProspect for their support over the last five years.”

The7stars managing partner Nick Maddison added: “Freemans is a brilliant British online department store with a unique heritage and an impressive track record of digital transformation. It is an exciting and challenging brief, and it is a privilege to be on board helping to drive their next phase of growth with the power of our independent thinking.”

The company has also launched its new “Destination Summer” campaign, positioning as the “go to” for customer’s needs, whether at home or abroad, throughout the season.

It showcases the breadth of the offer across its expanding range of big-name brands – including the recently added Sosandar, White Stuff, Little Mistress, Gola and ColorWOW – all backed by Freemans’ own collections, including the Bonprix value fashion brand.

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