RHM axe poised in £15m review

Ranks Hovis McDougall is expected to fire some of its six roster agencies after it confirmed a review of its &£15m advertising business this week.

The announcement comes a month after the company’s chairman Paul Wilkinson publicly criticised agencies for focusing on multinational businesses and overlooking UK-only clients.

His outburst was sparked by news of the global restructuring of DMB&B, which handles RHM’s Hovis account from its London office.

A company spokeswoman says: “RHM is reviewing its roster of agencies to assess whether there should be some rationalisation, bearing in mind the diversity of its current line-up. However, the company stresses that the needs of its brands will always come before those of expediency.”

Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, which handles the Robertson’s brand, says it will not repitch. The agency pulled out of a repitch for Bisto because it says it may conflict with international business.

RHM’s Mr Kipling brand is handled by Grey Advertising’s Red Grey division, Paxo by The Advertising Brasserie, and Sharwood’s by TBWA GGT Simons Palmer. In January, the company went outside its roster to appoint Saatchi & Saatchi to work on Bisto.

Agency Insight is handling the review during next month and September. A final decision is not expected before the end of the year.

The review comes at a crucial time for the company, which has re-organised its business by merging Robertson’s, Bisto, Sharwood’s and Paxo brands into a new subsidiary called Centura Foods.

Parent company Tomkins has also announced that it is to demerge RHM to focus on building products and industrial engineering.

BBJ Media Services, which handles all media planning and buying for RHM, is unaffected by the review.

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