Bisto Kids may face axe

Bisto Foods is considering killing off the 80-year-old Bisto Kids in its advertising and packaging.

The company is in discussion with its agency, Abbott Mead Vickers, over a new campaign to break in the autumn, the start of the crucial “gravy season”.

According to Ian Ayling, marketing controller at Bisto, various aspects, including the Bisto Kids created by cartoonist Will Owen in 1916, are up for review. “Everything is up for grabs, including how we use the Bisto Kids for the brand.”

The future of the Bisto brand’s other marketing icons, the historic “ahh Bisto” slogan and the steam trail, are also being reviewed.

Since AMV won the account in 1990 the creative strategy has undergone regular reviews, in contrast with the sustained campaign of “family” ads by rival Oxo. The ads have ranged from a small boy attempting to reunite his estranged parents, a Hong Kong businessman praising Bisto in Chinese with English subtitles, to films showing luxurious shots of food accompanied by the song “Save the Best Till Last”.

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