Blunder delays EU olive oil pitch

The $40m (25m) European Union account to promote the nutritional benefits of olive oil has once again degenerated into farce, leaving agencies confused and angry.

The EU shortlisted 85 European advertising agencies to pitch for the business, from an original list of more than 200.

It is now inviting them to re-apply by October 20 following what it describes as “an internal procedure failure”.

Agencies pitched to the EU agriculture ministry DG6 (MW March 10) but the procedure used did not conform to standard EU ones for tendering, so the process now has to start all over again.

It also understood the EU was unhappy with the fees agencies were demanding before they would pitch.

One agency source says: “It is a complete waste of bloody time and has cost us quite lot to pursue.”

Another comments: “I don’t think we’ve been able to crack how to work with the EU at all.”

None of them will complain publicly because, despite the bureaucratic nature of the EU, other lucrative accounts are expected to be put out to tender.

The eventual winning agency is expected to produce a campaign detailing the benefits of olive oil as part of a balanced diet.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here