Ferrero to axe cult ambassador's party commercial

- The ambassador's party, the cult commercial loved and loathed by millions of TV viewers throughout most of the 90s, is being axed from British screens by Ferrero.

- The ambassador's party, the cult commercial loved and loathed by millions of TV viewers throughout most of the 90s, is being axed from British screens by Ferrero.

The Italian confectioner has decided that the party is over for the film regarded by some as the best example of advertising irony and by others as the worst commercial ever made.

Ferrero executives believe the film, infamous for its wooden acting and risible dialogue, has no become such a joke that sales could suffer.

Instead, the company has briefed Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB to come up with a replacement which will go on air at the end of this month backed by a £2.5 million budget and coinciding with Ferrero Rocher's peak pre-Christmas sales period.

The new work follows an approach to the agency during the summer by Ferrero with a brief to make the Rocher brand more accessible to UK consumers.

Sven Olsen, the Banks Hoggins managing director, said: "Ferrero has realised that the Rocher brand is successful despite the advertising rather than because of it."

The "ambassador" and his guests who compliment him on his "eccellente" taste were the creation of Ferrero's in-house agency, the Turin-based Publiregia and have been seen across the company's major European markets for the past six years.

The exceptions have been France, where FCB has the account, and Italy where Ferrero Rocher is promoted differently and the Hollywood star Richard Gere is said to have been paid £1.9 million to appear in a commercial.

"The trouble with the ambassador's party is that it was all about rich, middle-aged people and is no longer relevant," Olsen added. "The new advertising will be on the theme of the product being so special you don't want to give it away. It will be a complete break with the past."



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