NestlÃ© has dropped Leo Burnett from its UK agency roster, moving Carnation Coffee-mate, Burnett’s last piece of NestlÃ© business, to a below-the-line agency.
The London agency has worked on the account since the late Eighties when it clawed some NestlÃ© business back after the company fired Leo Burnett’s worldwide.
Historically the business has been worth between 2m and 3m but has not appeared on TV since last year when about 1m was spent on a national campaign.
According to NestlÃ©, there are no plans for any TV ads this year.
The PR Connection has been appointed to handle below-the-line activity on the 25-year-old brand, which now comes in a low-fat Coffee-mate Lite version.
The company is running a sampling campaign in shopping malls and on railway stations, accompanied by a survey.
But insiders are tipping NestlÃ© to relaunch the brand next year and appoint a new advertising agency.
One trade source says: “Milks and creams is a huge business for NestlÃ© around the world and it is one of their most profitable areas in the UK. There is definitely a future for the Carnation and Coffee-mate brands in the UK.”
A NestlÃ© spokeswoman says: “There is no suggestion of a bad relationship between Leo Burnett and NestlÃ©. There are no plans for any TV with Carnation Coffee-mate and the brand will be supported by below-the-line activity.”
NestlÃ©’s UK roster agencies are McCann-Erickson, Foote Cone & Belding, Ogilvy and Mather, Publicis and J Walter Thompson.