Nichols seeks shop for £1m Panda task, Friday, 29 April 2005 03:47PM

Nichols plc, the manufacturer of Vimto, is looking for an agency to handle the creative duties on its soft drink brand Panda.

The company is in preliminary talks with a number of undisclosed agencies on the through-the-line account, which is valued at approximately £1 million.

Nichols purchased the soft drink brand from Hall & Woodhouse in January 2005 for £5.5 million.

Creative duties on Vimto are handled by the Manchester-based agency Cheethambell JWT, which is set to axe its long-running Purple Ronnie-themed work for the drink in favour of a new campaign, slated to break early next month.

Panda generated sales of £11.5 million in 2004. A source close to the account predicted Nichols would favour a regional agency for the business.

In November 2004, Nichols offloaded its food division in order to focus on its soft drinks business. Releasing its annual results in March 2005, Nichols reported an increase in sales leading to operating profits rising 13.2 per cent to £6 million.

Overall UK sales of soft drinks rose by 7.6 per cent for the same period.

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