Hospitality giant Mitchells & Butlers convinced to change tack and appoint new digital agency

Competitive pitch saw agency 26 sell its strategic and data-driven capabilities well enough to convince Mitchells & Butlers to abandon its incumbent media partner, Havas Media Group.

Mitchells & Butlers, the pub, bar and restaurant group that owns and operates the likes of Harvester, All Bar One, Toby Carvery and Browns, has appointed 26 to manage its media planning and buying across its full brand portfolio.

The Leed-based digital agency earned the appointment following a competitive pitch process which saw it oust Mitchells & Butlers incumbent agency, Havas Media Group.

Falling under the remit of 26’s new responsibilities will be taking the lead on the restaurant group’s programmatic media, paid social, SEO and partnership marketing. 26’s track record of creativity within its collaborative and cross-functional teams was viewed as a point of difference when compared to its competition.

These teams will utilise their extensive knowledge across search, programmatic and affiliate marketing, as well as Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and social listening tools to drive performance for the restaurant group and its brand portfolio that employs over 44,000 staff nationwide and turns over roughly 2.2bn in revenue annually.

Sarah Gamble, Head of Digital Marketing at Mitchells & Butlers, said: “We were really impressed by 26’s strategic and data-driven capabilities, as well as their passion for our business. We’re excited to embark on this partnership as we move into our next phase of digital transformation.”

Alex Blaikley, Media Director at 26, added: “The opportunity to work with Mitchells & Butlers and such well-loved brands is a privilege. After a challenging three years for the industry, we’re excited to bring our breadth and depth of expertise to the fore to drive marketing transformation and growth across the M&B portfolio.”

Mitchells and Butlers is one of the latest brands to join 26’s client roster which includes Hamley's, WatchShop, Fortnum & Mason, Wilko, CEF, GHD, and Dior.