Isklar, the Norwegian water brand, is poised to appoint creative agency Shop to handle the £2m advertising launch of its premium water brand.
The agency is understood to have beaten a number of undisclosed agencies following a competitive pitch. The company is also reviewing its media ahead of its UK launch next year.
Isklar claims its premium water brand is derived from Norwegian ice, and the company has earmarked the UK and Eastern Europe as areas to extend the brand, which is currently sold in Norway.
Isklar was set up by Norwegian ship-owner Johan Gustav Hvide and Oman’s Prince Sayyid Khalid Hamad bin Hammad Al Bu Said, who each invested about £9m in the company.
It is not clear whether the brand will be sold as an on-trade or off-trade drink.
Sales of bottled water in the off-trade grew 11% to £643m last year, according to Britvic Soft Drinks Category Report for 2007.
The sector was also the fastest-growing in the on-trade, rising 28% to £75m.
Isklar will launch into a highly competitive sector, with major brands battling with supermarket own-label offerings. It is expected to be positioned as a premium brand and will compete against brands such as Hildon, which is widely used by restaurants.
Bottled water consumption is set to outgrow the once dominant carbonated beverage sector within two years, according to new research from Zenith International.