Grey nets £20m Novartis’ Aviva

Novartis Consumer Health has appointed Grey Advertising to launch a new functional foods brand across Europe with a &£20m campaign. Grey pitched against TBWA Worldwide for the creative account, although it is unclear if other agencies were involved. The consumer brand division of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant has also appointed CIA Medianetwork and Grey-owned Joshua to handle the media and below-the-line accounts respectively. The food range, called Aviva, will launch in the UK and Switzerland in October and roll out across Europe by the end of 2001 (MW July 22). Functional foods contain vitamins, minerals or enzymes to give health benefits. The Aviva range will include drinks, biscuits, breakfast cereals and snack bars. Healthy People, a Grey-owned agency in Germany which specialises in health-related campaigns, will act as lead agency, working with other Grey agencies on local campaigns across Europe. Alastair Paton, marketing director at Novartis Consumer Health, says the pan-European account could be worth more than &£20m, although he refuses to give a precise figure. The global functional food market has mushroomed recently into a &£6.5bn industry and could be worth &£15bn by 2002, according to Novartis. Johnson & Johnson has launched Benecol, a margarine which claims to lower cholesterol intake and Nestlé has unveiled a range of products, LC1, designed to help digestion. Unilever is believed to be preparing its own functional food ranges.

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