The Irish Food Board has confirmed Saatchi & Saatchi as its agency of record to handle a controversial ad campaign worth about 6m promoting Irish beef in Europe.
Saatchi teamed up with its Dublin office to pitch against a number of other London agencies in May. It has carried out work on a project basis for the Irish Food Board in the past (MW May 28).
It is understood the Irish Food Board asked agencies to present ideas for advertising Irish beef in the UK in a “sensitive way” against a climate of hostility from British beef farmers, who have suffered a massive loss of income due to the BSE crisis. A 2-4m campaign was expected to launch in April but the Board claims it did not have firm plans at that time.
A spokeswoman for the Board says the remit for Saatchi has to be finalised but is likely to focus on the UK, Netherlands and Italy.
She says: “We have appointed Saatchi following a general review of our advertising, but some business has still to be decided.”
The Irish Food Board launched its first consumer advertising campaign, to promote Irish beef in Milan, in November. “We have previously targeted the trade, retailers and buyers,” adds the spokeswoman.