Leo Burnett lands £8m Bulmer's ad business

Leo Burnett has won the £8 million advertising business for HP Bulmer's portfolio of brands.

The agency won a pitch against Delaney Lund Knox Warren, M&C Saatchi and TBWA/London, and will now begin working on a new TV campaign for the flagship Strongbow brand, which will be aired early next year.

Burnett's appointment is a blow for TBWA, which was the incumbent on Strongbow and Scrumpy Jack.

The account also encompasses HP Bulmer's other cider brands, Woodpecker and Bulmer Traditional Cider, as well as Amstel Lager and San Miguel.

Bulmer's other brand, Sidekick, was sold to Halewood International earlier this year. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the incumbent on Woodpecker and San Miguel, did not pitch for the combined account.

The HP Bulmer group marketing director, Jon Eggleton, oversaw the review.

However, Eggleton's department could be restructured once Scottish & Newcastle's £278 million takeover of the company is finalised.

Eggleton said: "We were impressed with the quality of planning from all the agencies. However, Leo Burnett's depth of thinking on how we can further differentiate cider in a crowded marketplace won it the business."

Barry Cook, Burnett's managing director and chairman, said: "Obviously, we're delighted to have won this prestigious piece of business and against such prestigious opposition."

Despite boasting a lengthy roster of alcohol products, approximately three quarters of HP Bulmer's £8 million advertising spend is devoted to Strongbow. TBWA's last work for the brand was the "get a thirst" campaign, which featured a cast of young men going to elaborate lengths to work up a thirst. This succeeded the long-running series of ads, which cast the TV chat show host Johnny Vaughan as a Strongbow-drinking loafer.

The account win is Burnett's first since it merged with D'Arcy last year, and comes only a month after the agency announced the appointment of two executive creative directors, Paul Shearer and Jim Thornton.