Sopexa, the marketing consultancy for the French food and wine industry, says it has fired the Brompton Agency from its 1.5m French Wines account after four years.
Sopexa is an unusual body as it takes the position of client in some situations, and agency in others. Sopexa says it could not work with the Brompton Agency after it emerged that through-the-line agency Interfocus, which is being merged with the Brompton Agency, was pitching against Sopexa for a Loire Valley wines account.
On French Wines it acted as the client. However, in the pitch for the Loire Valley wines, which took place on Friday, it presented a marketing strategy alongside Interfocus, Publicis and Tequila. If selected, it will appoint another agency or freelances to handle creative work.
The committee representing the Loire Valley wine producers wants its own through-the-line campaign to run next year, independent of the collective French Wines campaign.
Matthew Hooper, managing director of Interfocus, says the agency had resigned the French Wines account after being invited to pitch for Loire Valley Wines.
Hooper adds: “We told Sopexa that we were pitching for the Val de Loire business. It was felt to be a conflict and we have resigned the French Wines account.”
A Sopexa spokeswoman says: “We need an under-standing of trust and confidence with the agency. We will review French Wines at the end of December.”
Earlier this month, Sopexa appointed Young & Rubicam to handle its 2m Le Crunch apple account (MW October 4).