…Innocent axes Lowe to go in house

Innocent Drinks is axing Lowe London as its above-the-line creative agency and bringing its advertising in house.

The decision ends the three-year tenure of Lowe on the £4m account.

The smoothie maker will launch its in-house creative team in the spring. This will manage all above-the-line, below-the-line and direct mail for its smoothie and juice drinks.

Richard Reed, one of Innocent’s founders, says: “This is about playing to our strengths and developing our talent internally. The reality is that the majority of what we call creative work has been done in house in the past.”

Innocent says that it will continue to work with agencies on an ad hoc basis. These currently include Albion – on digital advertising and children’s packaging – and Sledge, which worked with Innocent on last year’s Village Fete event.

Innocent, which has an overall marketing spend of about £8m, recently restrucuted its marketing team, splitting it into brand and innovation teams. The new teams will work with Innocent’s creative team, which will report to marketing director Gareth Helm.

The move, which will create considerable cost savings, brings an end to long-running speculation about Innocent’s advertising.

In June last year, Innocent called a review of Lowe, which it appointed in 2005, and appointed Creative Brief to handle the process. Following contract negotiations with Lowe, Innocent cancelled the pitch.

Lowe created Innocent’s latest ad campaign, which has been running across TV and press in January, and which highlights the qualities of its smoothies.

Innocent’s market share of the smoothie market is above 70%, according to IRI Infoscan.

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