Mustoes splits with £6m HP Foods task.

HP Foods is parting company with its advertising agency Mustoes after six years.

The company spent £3.1m on advertising across its brands, which include HP Sauce, Lea & Perrins and Amoy, last year.

HP Foods is for sale, with a price tag of about £450m, and owner Danone expects to strike a deal soon. Associated British Foods is thought to be the leading candidate to acquire the company’s famous sauce brands, although other players such as Premier Foods and Kraft Foods are in the frame.

Mustoes, then named Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy, won the account in 1999 after a pitch against Banks Hoggins O’Shea & Partners (now FCB London). The previous incumbent was Young & Rubicam.

Mustoes’ work has included the international outdoor “hippy” campaign of 2002, which showed hippies tucking into meat-based snacks covered in HP sauce; and the successful HP “Official sauce of Great Britain” campaign.

Mustoes chairman Nick Mustoe says: “We came to this decision because we have two very different approaches. There’s no animosity, it’s all very amicable and we’re very proud of the work and the results we’ve achieved.”

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