Heinz awards £12m account to McCann Erickson

LONDON - McCann Erickson has won the lion's share of the Heinz £12m advertising business, including its iconic Heinz Tomato Ketchup, soups and Baked Beanz brands.

M&C Saatchi has taken the consolation prize of the £1.2m Amoy account, as well as a number of strategic Heinz NPD projects. McCann was unable to handle the Amoy business, owing to a conflict with its Sharwood's account.

These decisions will not affect the appointment of VCCP to the Heinz Weightwatchers account in June. Media buying and planning remains with Vizeum.

The appointments follow a four-way pitch, in which McCann, M&C, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Beattie McGuinness Bungay slugged it out for the account.

The decision will be a blow to BMB, which previously handled the advertising for Heinz's Salad Cream, Tomato Ketchup, HP Sauce, Amoy and Lea & Perrins brands.

Leo Burnett previously handled the Heinz Baked Beanz and tinned food lines; WCRS worked on soups and baby food brands. Both were knocked out of the pitch at an earlier stage.

Chris Macdonald, the managing director of McCann Erickson, said: "It gives us the opportunity to work on great brands with an illustrious advertising heritage."

The Heinz chief marketing officer, Suzanne Douglas, added: "Both agencies showed excellent consumer understanding and insight, which they were able to turn into strong creative directions."

These appointments draw a line under a protracted review. Heinz first drew up plans in June to consolidate its advertising into one of its roster agencies -- then Leo Burnett, WCRS and BMB.

The review was expanded in August to include the non-roster agencies McCann, AMV BBDO and M&C after the arrival of Douglas from Heinz Australia.

Heinz pulled its above-the-line advertising in 2005, after acquiring HP. Its only TV advertising this year has been to support Tomato Ketchup.

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