Ogilvy & Mather raids APL for Unilever business

Ogilvy and Mather has snatched Van den Bergh's £3 million Ragu pasta sauce business from Ammirati Puris Lintas following a competitive pitch. APL, which has lost a string of Unilever-owned brands in the past two years to rival roster shops, was forced to fight for Ragu six weeks ago in a pitch against O&M and J Walter Thompson. O&M learned it had won the business on Friday. Richard Pinder, O&M's managing director, said: "The task we set ourselves two years ago was building Unilever. It's great to be building one of the divisions that cares most about creative work." Chris Thomas, APL's chief executive, said: "Ragu is a very strong brand for which we have done wonderful work in the past. We presented powerful proposals. We are bitterly disappointed but it's only on loan." O&M is expected to relaunch the brand later this year. Ragu is trailing behind market leader Dolmio which had annual sales last year of £55 million compared with Ragu's £25 million. Dolmio also spends far more on advertising than Ragu -- Dolmio spent £6.6 million on advertising last year, while Ragu spent £1.2 million, according to AC Nielsen-MEAL. O&M has also won the remaining global Impulse business from APL after winning the £10 million European business in January 1997. It is now responsible for the deodorant range in Latin American, Central Asia and the Middle East. No one at Van den Berghs was available to comment on O&M's appointment.

Ogilvy and Mather has snatched Van den Bergh's £3 million Ragu pasta sauce business from Ammirati Puris Lintas following a competitive pitch. APL, which has lost a string of Unilever-owned brands in the past two years to rival roster shops, was forced to fight for Ragu six weeks ago in a pitch against O&M and J Walter Thompson. O&M learned it had won the business on Friday. Richard Pinder, O&M's managing director, said: "The task we set ourselves two years ago was building Unilever. It's great to be building one of the divisions that cares most about creative work." Chris Thomas, APL's chief executive, said: "Ragu is a very strong brand for which we have done wonderful work in the past. We presented powerful proposals. We are bitterly disappointed but it's only on loan." O&M is expected to relaunch the brand later this year. Ragu is trailing behind market leader Dolmio which had annual sales last year of £55 million compared with Ragu's £25 million. Dolmio also spends far more on advertising than Ragu -- Dolmio spent £6.6 million on advertising last year, while Ragu spent £1.2 million, according to AC Nielsen-MEAL. O&M has also won the remaining global Impulse business from APL after winning the £10 million European business in January 1997. It is now responsible for the deodorant range in Latin American, Central Asia and the Middle East. No one at Van den Berghs was available to comment on O&M's appointment.





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