M&C Saatchi is understood to have been awarded an additional multi-million pound slice of business to add to its Gallaher tobacco account.
The agency is believed to have been appointed to handle the ad campaign for Sovereign Lights, the latest cigarette launch from tobacco giant Gallaher.
Sovereign Lights are tipped to be on sale by the beginning of November in order to beat price rises after the Budget at the end of the month. Industry sources claim Gallaher is spending about 10m on the launch – about the same amount used to launch Sovereign in March (MW February 2).
The new product will appear in a silver box, to distinguish it from its black parent, and is to be pitched as a mid-market brand, priced at 2.49. If Gallaher wants to launch any further variants to the brand, it must do so before a possible Labour government bans tobacco advertising.
The advertising blitz for the launch of Sovereign used a national 48-sheet poster campaign and press executions. They stress the value of the brand and its “joke” of a price.
A Gallaher spokesman confirms the launch and the use of M&C Saatchi, but refuses to comment on the advertising budget.
He says: “It is a logical step to launch Sovereign Lights after the success of the parent brand.”
There was no one at M&C Saatchi available for comment.
But industry sources claim Sovereign’s share stands at around 1.3 per cent, despite the company’s projected share of 3.2 per cent.