Gallaher harnesses M&C Saatchi to hit Europe and Far East

Gallaher is stepping up efforts to offset sliding tobacco sales in Britain by drafting in M&C Saatchi to help exploit growth markets in Europe and the Far East. It is the first time the cigarette giant has appointed an agency as a strategic consultant across all its international business.

Gallaher is stepping up efforts to offset sliding tobacco sales in

Britain by drafting in M&C Saatchi to help exploit growth markets in

Europe and the Far East. It is the first time the cigarette giant has

appointed an agency as a strategic consultant across all its

international business.



The brands involved are Silk Cut, for which M&C Saatchi has produced

award-winning UK advertising, Benson & Hedges, Sovereign and Sobranie, a

luxury product restricted to specialist outlets in Britain but a big

seller in the Far East.



M&C Saatchi will be producing advertising out of London to support the

brands but Gallaher stressed the agency will work in co-operation with

its existing roster agencies - Dentsu, which handles its brands in the

Far East, and DMB&B, which runs the business in Russia.



The push into Eastern Europe has been sparked by the need to make

Gallaher compete more effectively against the US giants, Philip Morris

and RJ Reynolds, which are dominating the market. At the same time,

Gallaher is looking to stimulate sales for Sovereign in Khazakstan after

building a new factory there.



The initiative takes place against a background of a 4 per cent drop in

Gallaher’s UK cigarette sales during the first three months of this

year. The company blames ’bootlegging’ and duty increases.



M&C Saatchi’s assignment also covers Germany and France, where the brief

is to stimulate Benson & Hedges sales, and Greece, where the push will

be behind Silk Cut.



The extra work augments the agency’s existing relationship with

Gallaher, one of the first clients to choose it when it set up in

1995.



Moray MacLennan, the agency’s joint chief executive, said: ’It’s a very

interesting assignment because we’re keen to grow internationally.’



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