Premier Foods is understood to have axed all incumbent agencies except McCann Erickson from its roster as part of the consolidation of its £26m advertising business. The business was split between McCann, CHI & Partners, Delaney Lund Knox Warren (DLKW) and Publicis.
It is thought that McCann has been shortlisted to pitch against Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and WCRS. Sources say two of the four agencies are likely to be appointed to handle Premier’s portfolio of brands.
The news is a particular blow to CHI, which handled the lion’s share of the brands, including Ambrosia, Loyd Grossman and Gale’s Spreads. The agency was handed the £6m Branston product range, which was previously handled by DLKW, without a pitch last year.
The roster review was called two months ago after a consolidation of the food giant’s media business into Starcom (MW August 9). It followed Premier’s acquisition of rival RHM, completed in March, and Campbell’s Soup Company in 2006.
DDB London, the incumbent on the Hovis account, parted company with the bakery brand last month after six years (MW September 27). It is thought the agency decided against competing because of potential conflicts with other clients.
McCann Erickson is the incumbent on the Mr Kipling and Cadbury cake business, while DLKW handles the Batchelor’s Supernoodles range. Premier moved advertising for Oxo, a brand it picked up from the Campbell Soup takeover, into Publicis without a pitch last year.
Starcom scooped the media planning and buying account from Universal McCann earlier this year (MW July 19). Previously, Starcom was the incumbent on the Premier business, while Universal McCann handled the RHM planning and buying account.
The group announced a restructure in July, which could see up to 600 jobs axed and the closure of six factories by 2009.