Warburtons, the Lancashire-based baker, is reviewing its &£5m media planning and buying business, currently held by MindShare.
It is not known whether the WPP Group-owned agency will repitch as part of the process, which is being handled by the AAR. No one at Warburtons was available for comment as Marketing Week went to press.
It is thought that the company is seeking to develop a nationwide media strategy amid plans to boost production of its bread products, in order to roll the brand out nationwide.
Traditionally, Warburtons’ distribution was mainly confined to the North. But it has been steadily stocking shelves elsewhere in the UK, and is doubling production at its plant in Enfield, Middlesex, to serve London and the South-east. It has also expanded its bakery in Newport, Wales, to service the South-west. The company believes it will now be able to achieve 95% coverage of the UK.
It is not thought that the media review will affect creative agencies on Bolton-based Warburtons’ roster. These include Chemistry Communications Group, Brahm and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which won the &£3.5m strategic brand business in 1998, after previous incumbent Ogilvy & Mather declined to repitch.
Warburtons’ brands include Milk Roll, Toastie Loaf, Crumpets and Fruit Loaf. Earlier this year, it appointed finance director Robert Higginson as managing director. He is a former managing director of Shell Direct, and replaced Brett Warburton, who became executive director.
Warburtons launched its latest product, Mango and Cranberry Fruit Cake, nationally last month.
The company is owned and operated by the fifth generation of the founding Warburton family and is the largest independent bread bakery in the UK. It produces more than 2 million products a day from 11 bakeries.