JWT in ‘last chance saloon’ as Kraft reviews 7m Kenco brief

JWT has been put on alert after Kraft Foods invited Euro RSCG and Beattie McGuinness Bungay to pitchagainst the incumbent forits estimated £7m Kenco coffee brand.

The move will put JWT in a last chance saloon as the brief will be to review whether or not to continue the use of the Mr Makousa character created by the agency. JWT has held the business for over 15 years.

It is understood that the incumbent has already put forward two ideas in the research stage, but Kenco has decided to tap the two other agencies to pitch some more ideas.

One industry source says while it may not be a formal review of the entire Kenco business, JWT will be on tenterhooks if it is not able to beat Euro and BMB. In the US, the agency took a major hit last year when it lost six Kraft brands, which included Kraft Singles cheese, Lunchables and Ritz crackers.

JWT also handles the Dairylea and Philadelphia brands.

An advertising campaign launched last year to promote the Kenco Pure range featured the 1970s sitcom star of Rising Damp, Don Warrington, who has played the character Mr Makousa in previous ad campaigns. The ad uses a wine tasting analogy to explain the benefits of single origin coffee and highlighted the ethically sourced aspect of the Pura range.

According to the Checkout Nielsen Top 100 Grocery Brands 2008 report, Kenco’s sales rose by 2.3% to £96m last year, and it remains a strong brand for Kraft.

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