Mars hunts new agencies

Mars is understood to be looking outside its roster of agencies for a London agency to work on a new product development project for its confectionery division.

The company uses three agencies for its sugar and confectionery brands. They are: Grey, Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and DMB&B.

Mars recently restructured its European operations, with different brands being led from different countries (MW March 7). The Snickers brand is run from Germany, while France handles Mars bars and Twix.

It is thought that the approach to the London agencies has been made by marketers from the German division.

Recently, Mars has embarked on a programme of developing new brands, and has launched two low-calorie chocolate bars, Flyte and Mars Lite, and an extension to its Galaxy brand called Swirls.

It is also testing a boxed chocolate called Celebrations in the North of England. Mars is known to be looking for design agencies to work on new products, but the news that it is approaching advertising agencies has taken some roster agencies by surprise.

The company is thought to have axed plans to appoint a separate agency to handle its sugar brands such as Opal Fruits and Skittles.

No one at Mars was available for comment.

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