Grey Global’s grip on Masterfoods’ $45m (&£24m) global advertising account for Twix is understood to be under threat. Insiders are claiming that following lacklustre sales, Masterfoods is considering giving the business to another of its roster agencies.
Grey, which is the world’s largest independent advertising group and was recently put up for sale, has been fighting for a number of weeks to keep hold of the business. The brand was given a &£7m revamp earlier this year to boost flagging sales.
It has emerged that Masterfoods has already given a little known Asian-based agency the Twix advertising business in Germany. The agency is called Nitro and is run by a former D’Arcy executive Chris Clarke. D’Arcy handled Twix’s advertising globally before it was handed to Grey in 2000.
Clarke is understood to have close ties with Masterfoods, and Nitro has already picked up several accounts from Masterfoods in Asia, including M&M’s, Skittles and Dove, which is known as Galaxy in the UK.
In order to make a successful sale of itself, it will be imperative that Grey does not lose any more Masterfoods business. Earlier this year it lost the $100m (&£54m) Pedigree advertising account to TBWA/Worldwide.
The news about Twix comes in the same week that the WPP Group emerged as the front-runner to buy Grey. French advertising group Publicis says it will not be making a bid.