Publicis has been handed a multi-million pound new year gift from
United Biscuits, which is to consolidate the global creative work on its
McVitie’s and KP brands into the network.
The switch ends previous arrangements under which creative work was
split between Publicis and Leo Burnett, although Burnett will retain
It means that Publicis will add Go Ahead! and Mini Cheddars as well as
Digestive and Chocolate Homewheat to its existing UB portfolio, which
includes Hula Hoops, Skips, Penguin and Jaffa Cakes.
The extra work is expected to double the pounds 10 million worth of UB
business handled by Publicis in the UK, although the brands in question
spent only pounds 5 million through Burnett last year, according to MMS.
The global consolidation could add a further pounds 40 million to the
group’s international billings.
Richard Hytner, the Publicis chief executive, said: ’We feel that our
work for UB in the UK has been among our best and, as people, we all get
on incredibly well.’
The decision to consolidate is part of a marketing overhaul carried out
by Eric Nicoli, the UB group chief executive, who has been attempting to
turn the company around after years of City criticism.
Despite heavy investment in new product development, UB has yet to
overcome the problem of the decline of the ’everyday’ biscuit market
where its dominance has been hit by own-label ranges.
The changes are being driven by Ed Jackson, a former Unilever senior
executive, who was appointed to the new position of managing director of
development operations six months ago. His brief has been to fuel the
growth of the UB business organically rather than through acquisition
and to extract maximum value from leading brands, including Skips and Go
Publicis’s creative responsibilities will expand to include UB’s key
markets of France, Germany, Holland, Eastern Europe, Malaysia and China.