Unilever in £60m Birds Eye pitch

Unilever is to relaunch its Birds Eye frozen food brand in the UK – and across Europe – as part of a drive to reinvigorate sales. The move is being backed by a £60m advertising spend.

As part of the relaunch, planned for next year, Birds Eye has called a European review of its advertising business, held by McCann-Erickson. The company spends £10m on advertising in the UK, and the winning agency will oversee the entire £60m European advertising spend across 115 brands. The review does not include the Captain Birds Eye brand, which is handled by HHCL/Red Cell.

The relaunch follows Jerry Wright’s appointment to the new role of brand director for Birds Eye in June. He replaced frozen food marketing director Chris Pomfret, who was transferred to Unilever’s Environment Group (MW June 5). Wright is known to be keen on a more customer- and brand-focused strategy.

Unilever, which renamed its Birds Eye Wall’s division Unilever Frozen Food and Ice Cream earlier this year, has been concentrating on developing its presence in frozen foods.

The brand has contacted five agencies, including BMP DDB, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Wieden & Kennedy. The incumbent is expected to repitch. The brief, which is understood to be handled by the Haystack Group, is thought to be a campaign that will win over mothers, who are increasingly looking for healthy options to give their children.

The Birds Eye brand encompasses a range of products including frozen vegetables, frozen ready meals and a healthy options range. The brand dropped its Enjoy! range of frozen meals last year after poor sales.

A spokesman for Unilever Frozen Food and Ice Cream confirms that the Birds Eye brand and the advertising for its generic brands are both under review.

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