The new owner of controversial juice drink Sunny D has confirmed that it will continue to work with Saatchi & Saatchi on the brand.
Procter & Gamble clinched a deal last week to sell Sunny D to Boston-based private equity company JW Childs Associates, which has created a freestanding company, the Sunny Delight Beverages Company (SDBC), to be based in Cincinnati.
P&G’s advertising spend on Sunny D in the UK last year was &£7m, and SDBC claims it will maintain investment in marketing and product development.
William Cyr, vice-president and general manager of P&G’s North America juice-based business, will become president and chief executive of SDBC. Cyr says: “Our expectation is that SDBC will continue to have a relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi. We’re happy with the work it has provided so far.”
P&G will provide transition services for the next 12 months and JW Childs has agreed the marketing and innovation plans. However, Sunny D will eventually move out of P&G’s distribution network.
P&G created the animated character Max Wilde last year for a campaign that had the strapline “Real kids aren’t always into stuff that’s good for them. Sunny D can help.” The company introduced a Summer Fruits variant in March (MW February 12).
The brand saw a meteoric rise after its launch in 1998, but was hit by negative publicity about its sugar content and has since been reformulated.