Burnett takes lead status on Heinz

- Bates Dorland has surrendered its long-held status as the lead agency for Heinz in the UK as the client looks to develop a global advertising strategy with Leo Burnett.

- Bates Dorland has surrendered its long-held status as the lead agency for Heinz in the UK as the client looks to develop a global advertising strategy with Leo Burnett.

Burnett has been appointed global guardian of the Heinz brand after winning a pitch for the $30 million convenience food business late last week. The decision leaves Dorlands, the incumbent in this country for more than a decade, with only a fifth of Heinz's £15 million business.

Burnett beat Bates Worldwide, FCB and J. Walter Thompson to complete a hat-trick of Heinz coups.

The latest appointment — which covers soups, baked beans and pasta meals — follows last week's award of the Salad Cream relaunch in the UK to Burnett. The agency made its first in-roads into the Heinz business last November when it won the global Ketchup account.

Nick Brien, Burnett's UK chief executive, said: "We have focused on becoming a global partner for Heinz from July 1998 when we went to New York to be briefed for the Ketchup pitch."

A statement from Heinz said that the appointment was "the latest demonstration of Heinz's focus on worldwide advertising and marketing support for its core categories". Almost half of the $30 million budget will be spent in the UK.

Eric Salamon, Heinz's European marketing chief, praised Burnett's strategic approach to the pitch as well as its creative insights. He said: "The first challenge is to establish a global positioning so we can leverage our strengths around the world."

Although the strategy will be consistent, executions will be tailored to each market. Dorlands is left with only the Weight Watchers product range and chilled and frozen desserts. Its recent branding work for Heinz was the umbrella "toast to life" campaign. This will now cease.

Graham Hinton, chairman of Dorlands, said: "The advertising we have done for Heinz in the UK has been acknowledged by the company as highly successful and probably the best that it has run anywhere in the world."



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