Between the Lines: What next for Pot Noodle?

HHCL United will face stiff competition for its iconic Pot Noodle account (page 4). After 12 years with the agency, Unilever is now talking to a number of agencies about a new direction for the brand. Although HHCL will repitch for the account, the review is a symbolic blow after more than a decade of high-profile and often acclaimed advertising.

But Pot Noodle sales are falling and the brand looks increasingly out-of-kilter with attitudes to health, diet and lifestyle.

Nevertheless, Unilever's hopes of rejuvenating the brand with a healthier positioning (emphasising higher-quality ingredients and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives) seem somewhat fanciful given its relentless pursuit of the lads' snack market.

Perhaps HHCL and Unilever should have foreseen the issues with the brand's ad strategy before now ("the slag of all snacks" was never going to work in a health context). But the ad review seems to say more about Unilever's lack of confidence in repositioning Pot Noodle than it does about HHCL's work.

Topics