London isn’t national

Bizarre story in How Do about Morrisons’ new chief executive, Marc Bolland, is moving the supermarket’s £37m media buying out of Mediaedge:cia Manchester into the same agency’s London office.

How Do cites the reason as Marc Bolland “is keen for the supermarket to shed its perceived northern image and rather project itself as national”.

I can think of several reasons why this doesn’t make any sense:

1) Being in London tends to make companies/people have LESS of a national outlook as London is such a big market they struggle to see beyond it to the rest of the UK. If you’re in a smaller market you can’t afford to be that blinkered so have to have a more national outlook.

2) If it’s staying with the same agency then both of its offices should be offering the same level of service. Personally I’d be very alarmed at giving any work to an agency that couldn’t offer consistent service and quality.

3) It’s media buying and planning. The fact that the person that sits behind a desk doing it is in London, Manchester or Bristol doesn’t have any affect on what the public think about you.

6 Replies to “London isn’t national

  1. My first reaction was that Marc Bolland must be from London but I was wrong. He lives in Yorkshire and if I'm correct is Dutch.

    I would be fascinated to hear the reasons why London is better (your points Stuart are excellent). Is it that the sun shines out of London's ……….?

  2. Exactly, if you are buying media space it does not matter to the title, station or channel where you are from as long as you buy.

    The only caveat is that if the space has any sort of geographical restriction the media buyers is aware of the remit and understands the publication.

    I can only think that some managing directors believe that there is a reflected glory hiring agencies from the capital.


  3. I agree entirely with your thoughts Stuart.

    It doesn't seem a rational move if it's for the reasons that have been quoted.

    There are so many more effective things they could do if they need to shift their reputation to be less regional.

  4. People in London are "blinkered" and "the sun shines out there . . . . "? How rude and lacking in confidence you lot seem to be.

  5. In the US, some companies — especially well-financed upstarts — will go with NYC-based firms for the prestige factor alone. "Oh, that up-and-comer must be doing well. They're using XYZ PR out of New York." Ludicrous.

  6. I was delighted this morning to see the cartoon in the Times by Peter Brookes showing the next PM with the sun shining out of his ****. "How rude" I thought (just joking). Oh and BTW Simon shouldn't it be their rather than there?

    Still it's grim up North lad.

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