Haagen-Dazs, the luxury ice-cream brand owned by Pillsbury, is
preparing to review its £20 million pan-European advertising
The review comes as General Mills is poised to buy Pillsbury and its
assets from Diageo. The manufacturer is said to be considering the
incumbent, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, Saatchi & Saatchi, Rainey Kelly
Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and another agency, as yet undisclosed, for the
account, which is worth £6 million in the UK. However, it is not
known if Euro RSCG, which won the business three years ago, will
Meetings with shortlisted networks are expected by the end of the
The desire to review is said to have come from General Mills. The
company sees the Haagen-Dazs brand as too direct a rival to Ben &
Jerry's, which is handled by Black Rocket Euro RSCG, a Euro RSCG network
agency in San Francisco.
James Moseley, Pillsbury UK's managing director, denied that he had
approached agencies. However, he added: "At some point we are likely to
become part of General Mills. That may affect our agency situation."
The news comes shortly after Euro RSCG unveiled a high profile, £6.5 million campaign for Haagen-Dazs, which plays on New Age humour and
introduces the strapline: "Pleasure is the path to joy." It features a
group of people on a spiritual retreat who learn to experience joy by
eating Haagen-Dazs ice-cream, under the guidance of a sensologist.
Euro RSCG won the account in 1998. Previously it had been handled by
Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which produced ground-breaking and controversial
advertising for the brand throughout the 90s. The work, which presented
the ice-cream as a seduction tool, featured entwined couples indulgently
feeding the ice-cream to each other.
The account was handed to Euro RSCG in a bid to co-ordinate its
marketing strategy across Europe into a unified, easily recognised brand
However, according to Moseley, Pillsbury is in the process of
decentralising the Haagen-Dazs account out of London into individual
Euro RSCG offices in Europe. The New Age campaign is running in the UK
only, unlike the previous "100 per cent perfect" campaign.
Media on the account, which is handled by Carat, will not be affected by
the review. Carat works across the range of Pillsbury brands.
The acquisition of Pillsbury will give General Mills ownership of the
Green Giant vegetable range, the Jus-Rol range and Old El Paso Mexican
food. Leo Burnett is the company's principal agency in the UK.
The news comes as Ben & Jerry's reviews its UK ad account. The company
is drawing up a shortlist through the AAR.