Thwarted UK Entrepreneur Uses TV Weapon Against M&S

03 September 2004

Marks & Spencer, the iconic British retail chain so ardently -- and unsuccessfully -- sought earlier this summer by corporate raider Philip Green [WAMN: 19-Jul-04], remains firmly fixed in the entrepreneur's crosswires.

Having already trumpeted his intention to outgun M&S in high street sales, Green on Thursday hauled more than nine hundred of his employees before a TV screen to view a series of Dorothy Perkins commercials.

One of several major assets in Green's retail stable, fashion chain DP has never before advertised on television. But Green insists the move into mainstream media is not just a pique-driven desire to hit back at M&S in the wake of his failed hostile bid.

Proclaimed the colourful tycoon: "Dorothy Perkins again achieved a record year, the best figures in its history. We are looking to investment in a media campaign. This is not on the back of M&S, this is the evolution of this brand. This business is about evolution not revolution."

And Green has another media card up his sleeve -- which he presumably intends to be phase two of an anti-M&S double whammy. Next week he will unveil an ad campaign for another of his apparel retail chains, Bhs. Uncharacteristically for Green, however, his lips remained zipped.

He would not be drawn as to the Bhs ad strategy; nor was he prepared to reveal planned adspend for the DP campaign.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff