Euro RSCG axes Heinz over conflict

A slice of Heinz business is up for grabs after Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper was forced to resign its pounds 2 million Weight Watchers account because of a potential client conflict.

A slice of Heinz business is up for grabs after Euro RSCG Wnek

Gosper was forced to resign its pounds 2 million Weight Watchers account

because of a potential client conflict.



Heinz is expected to hold a pitch for Euro RSCG’s share of its brands,

but it is not known whether the company will look outside its remaining

roster agencies, Bates Dorland, which handles most brands, and GGT,

which looks after baby food.



Euro RSCG’s decision to end its ten-year relationship with Heinz comes

weeks after the agency won Haagen-Dazs’s pounds 4 million account.

Haagen-Dazs is thought to be planning a UK advertising campaign for its

low-fat range.



Weight Watchers manufactures a competitive frozen dessert product, thus

forcing the agency to choose between the two clients.



Brett Gosper, the chief executive of Euro RSCG, said: ’Both are

fantastic companies and brands and to choose between them was not

easy.’



Heinz has stuck with the agency through a number of mergers. Last year

it awarded Euro RSCG the pounds 1 million task of launching a new range

of frozen pizzas.



Alistair Duff, the Heinz general manager, marketing, was surprised by

the move and said: ’We are completely happy with Euro RSCG.’



Of Heinz’s two other roster agencies, Dorlands handles the corporate

branding campaigns for most products, including baked beans, spaghetti,

tomato ketchup and tinned soups. GGT works with Heinz on Complan and the

Farley’s range of baby rusks and milks.



Euro RSCG also encountered client conflicts with Heinz Weight Watchers

three years ago, because of the launch of the low-fat spread,

Olivite.



This week’s resignation is the second by Euro RSCG in just over a

year.



Last May, it gave up another big-name client, Guinness, (Campaign, 10

May 1996), following the brewer’s decision to hand over the agency’s

pounds 5 million Kilkenny business to Publicis just weeks before the

brand’s launch.



Euro RSCG picked up the Bass account a few months later.