Publicis becomes sixth agency to try to revitalise Ryvita

Publicis has become the sixth agency in nine years to be handed the job of transforming the faded fortunes of Ryvita crispbread.

Publicis has become the sixth agency in nine years to be handed the

job of transforming the faded fortunes of Ryvita crispbread.

The appointment - made after Publicis was asked to consider a new

strategy for the brand - comes after ’polite disagreements’ were cited

as the reason for its split with Ogilvy & Mather (Campaign, 23


It extends the relationship between Publicis and Ryvita’s parent, Allied

Bakeries, for which it has handled the Kingsmill and Allinson brands for

the past two years. New TV advertising will break at the start of


The latest switch comes after a series of abortive agency relationships

since 1989 as Ryvita has attempted to sustain leadership of a static

pounds 27 million UK crispbread market in which its share has been

eroded by own-label brands.

Ryvita is best remembered for the ’inch war’ advertising, created by

Saatchi & Saatchi during the 70s, which centred on a tape measure around

a girl’s waist.

Since then, LansdownEuro, Tilby & Leeves, CDP, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

and O&M have all attempted to refresh the stale image of the 62-year-old

brand by trying to attract younger consumers and taking it into new


Invariably, the agency relationships have floundered because of

strategic and creative differences.

Rick Bendel, the Publicis group chairman, claimed Ryvita had lost its

relevance because all its most recent advertising had tried to reinvent

the ’inch war’ work. ’In fact, the brand fits neatly with today’s trend

which is less about dieting and more about positive health,’ he


O&M’s most recent attempt to distance Ryvita from its health food image

was a TV commercial featuring a bikini-clad girl walking into the middle

of a bank raid and featuring the line: ’You’ll feel so good there’s

nothing you can’t do.’

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