Britvic Soft Drinks buys Red Devil energy drink

Britvic Soft Drinks has acquired the UK and Republic of Ireland rights to the energy drink Red Devil, and axed its own adult energy drink, Carbon.

The Red Devil purchase is an attempt to make Britvic a stronger player in the &£750m energy drinks market and will place it in competition with brands such as Red Bull, Burn and Shark.

Carbon was launched at the end of 2000, as a rival to Coca-Cola GB’s Burn energy drink. It was promoted as a stimulant drink suitable for mixing with both dark and white spirits.

Red Devil was launched in the UK in 1998 and gained notoriety when an television advertising campaign featuring Vinnie Jones encouraging a bird to fly into a window received complaints. It was the Independent Television Commission’s most complained about ad of 2000.

Red Devil distribution rights were previously held as a franchise by Red Devil, a company created by the Maritime Foods Group (Maritime). Red Devil used agencies on an ad hoc basis. Its staff, including sales and marketing director Lisa Maraffa, will be switched to new projects for Maritime, including the Frankie Dettori range of Italian ice cream and pizzas.

Britvic marketing director Andrew Marsden says that the company is developing a marketing strategy and deciding which advertising agency will handle the product.

Agencies working on Britvic brands include Clemmow Hornby Inge (Tango), HHCL & Partners (Robinsons), Barret Cernis (J20, Purdeys, Amé) and Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO (Pepsi).

Production of Red Devil will move from the brand’s European factory in Holland to Britvic’s Chelmsford factory.

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