Starcom to handle Premier Foods 26m media planning and buying

Starcom is understood to have scooped the 26m combined media planning and buying business for Premier Foods and RHM, following a pitch against the other incumbent Universal McCann.

Starcom is understood to have scooped the £26m combined media planning and buying business for Premier Foods and RHM, following a pitch against the other incumbent Universal McCann.

Premier began reviewing the account in May, as it sought to consolidate the business following last year’s acquisition of rival RHM.

It is thought that potential cost efficiencies were behind the decision to combine the accounts.

Senior marketers favoured a direct competition between the incumbents, rather than handing the business to one without a pitch or opening the pitch to rival agencies.
It is understood that commercial director Howard Beveridge led the review.

Universal McCann was incumbent on RHM’s media planning and buying while Starcom won the Premier Foods business in December last year. The previous
Premier incumbent was Zenith Optimedia, with Carat and Walker Media also involved.

Premier owns several food brands including Branston, Fray Bentos and the Lloyd Grossman range. It also has bread brand Hovis, Sharwood’s and bakery brand Mr Kipling, previously housed under the RHM umbrella. Additionally, Premier last year bought the Campbell Soup Company before it purchased RHM.

Premier Foods was previously part of the Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Group and floated on the stock market in 2004.

It is not thought that Premier’s five advertising agencies have been affected by the review. CHI & Partners, DDB London, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, McCann Erickson and Publicis currently make up the roster.

Premier, now the UK’s biggest food manufacturer, announced a restructure of its operations earlier this month. The restructure was reported to result in 600 job losses and the closure of six factories by 2009.

The company has been reviewing its operations following the acquisition of RHM, completed in March, and that of Campbell’s last year.

It is also understood to be attempting to make Hovis Britain’s number one bread brand again. Recent product launches include an oversized variety of baked beans and, last month, baked beans with Omega-3, the first of its kind on the market.

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