Marketing jobs threatened after Lurpak/Anchor announce merger

The UK marketing department of New Zealand Milk (NZM) is being disbanded following the announcement that Anchor is to form a new venture with rival yellow fat brand Lurpak.

The move could threaten the business of NZM’s agencies WCRS and Zenith Media as Arla Foods, Lurpak’s parent company, will have a 75 per cent share of the new company, to be called Arla Foods Fonterra. BMP DDB handles advertising for Arla, with media through Carat.

The deal is subject to Office of Fair Trading approval, but NZM has admitted that voluntary redundancies are likely as not all NZM employees – based in Wiltshire – may wish to relocate to Arla’s Leeds headquarters.

Arla Foods marketing director Hanne Sondergaard, recently brought in from the company’s Danish operation, is the favourite to be named as the marketing director for the new venture (MW August 30).

NZM marketing director Jaspal Chada says he will consider his options once the structure of the new marketing department is clear, but claims that both companies aim to make as few changes as possible.

Chada says that in the short term there are no plans to review the agencies, though the decision will lie with the marketing director of the new venture. Anchor is considering entering the yogurt and dairy drinks market and Chada says that the new venture will allow different areas to be explored. He adds: “If you think about the values the brand stands for, it can stretch beyond butter and spreads.”

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