John Lewis chooses Interel after splitting from Portland
Portland are understood to have resigned the business earlier this year.
John Lewis Partnership has parted company with Portland and handed its retained public affairs business to Interel Consulting, PAN has established.
Industry sources said that the parent company of John Lewis and Waitrose had recently held a competitive pitch for the business, thought to be worth just under £100,000 a year in fees. According to one agency figure who took part, John Lewis were looking for an agency to provide "campaign ideas and strategic counsel".
It is understood that Portland resigned the account earlier this year and so did not take part in the pitch process. Sources suggested that the conflict was linked to Portland picking up a major public affairs retainer with Morrisons.
Portland only picked up the business towards the end of 2017, with John Lewis having previously spent four years with Hanover.
John Lewis confirmed that they had split from Tim Allan’s agency. “We stopped using Portland last month and we're now working with Interel for our PA support,” confirmed a member of the in-house public affairs team.
Interel declined to comment on the win, while Portland managing partner Steve Morris told PAN: “We were pleased to support JLP but now find ourselves conflicted. We wish them all the best.”