Mars has awarded its pounds 30 million global Twix business to
Grey, dealing a major blow to the incumbent, D’Arcy.
Grey pitched for the business alongside Mars’ other worldwide networks,
D’Arcy and BBDO, at the beginning of the year. Tim Mellors, the
executive creative director of Grey London, led creative teams from the
UK, America and Europe to produce the winning campaign.
’Twix is Mars’ fastest-growing confectionery brand and it wanted a
simple but powerful theme to maximise on its success and promote the
brand worldwide,’ Mellors said. ’The pitch involved stages in New York,
London and Strasbourg, so it required tight international co-operation
from the Grey team.’
The review is understood to have reflected mounting concern at Mars that
the chocolate-covered biscuit brand lacked a clear identity and global
The move will be a considerable loss to D’Arcy, which had appeared to
have emerged unscathed from Mars’ review of its worldwide agency
arrangements at the end of last year.
D’Arcy will retain the Twix business in Asia Pacific.
A source at Mars said it was unlikely that D’Arcy would pick up any
other brands to compensate for the loss.
In the UK, the loss to D’Arcy will be around pounds 6 million in
billings. The agency has advertised the brand for the past three years,
helping it to become the UK’s fourth biggest-selling chocolate brand
behind Nestle’s market-leading Kit Kat.
The brand is thought to have suffered from an inconsistent global
advertising strategy, which had resulted in a confused image. While
European consumers regard it as a biscuit, Americans consider the brand
to be a chocolate bar.
’We picked Grey because it presented what we considered to be the most
innovative campaign that we saw, providing the strongest platform to
take Twix into the future,’ Ken Rogers, who heads Mars’ global marketing
operations, said. ’D’Arcy remains a key Mars agency with big
confectionery brands including Mars Bar, Maltesers and Skittles.’
The review was called by Bob Gamgort, the company’s vice-president of
marketing, who was hired in August 1998 from the top marketing post in
US major league baseball.