End Of The Line For Twiggy and Dannii At M&S?

Reports this week suggest that retailer Marks and Spencer”s is shifting its womenswear strategy away from the star-studded TV ads it has been running for the last five years. Apparently, Twiggy, Dannii Minogue, Myleene Klass, VV Brown and the like are no longer to be used on screen.

In their early years, the Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R ads played a big part in turning around fortunes at M&S. The ads would prove to be critical to reshaping consumer opinion of the brand generally, as womenswear is considered to be the “fulcrum upon which the fate of the overall brand turns” by the company.

And it has been a success. A blouse worn by Twiggy in one ad sold more in a week than any other product in the history of M&S. Over the autumn period last year, an estimated 1.4 million additional people shopped for clothes at M&S, resulting in an incremental sales increase of about £28m and profit of £14.9m. But new chief executive Marc Bolland is concerned that the glamour ads no longer fit the mood of the times. In the spring/summer 2011 ad, for example, M&S had its coterie sunning themselves in Miami.

Twiggy is being retained to do voiceovers, promos and posters. Also being retained for similar roles are model Lisa Snowdon and ex-footballer Jamie Redknapp (for menswear).

The big question is how M&S will handle its Christmas campaign. While there”s some logic in moving away from celebrities for fashion lines, the festive campaign has made a virtue of bringing much-loved celebrities into our homes.

Separately, Sainsbury’;s is looking at TV chef Lorraine Pascale as a possible replacement for Jamie Oliver, who will end his association with the supermarket in a Christmas ad.

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