The food conglomerate has invited its entire roster of agencies - ZenithOptimedia, Mediaedge:cia, John Ayling & Associates and AMS - plus one non-roster agency, to pitch for its centralised business. The pitches are being held at the beginning of November, with a result expected shortly afterwards.
ZenithOptimedia holds the bulk of the account, including Allied Bakeries and Ryvita; MEC looks after ABF's sugar business; Ayling the Twining Teas business and AMS holds Blue Dragon foodstuffs.
The creative account, which is not affected by the review, is also split between a roster of agencies. Most recently, the Ryvita business moved from Walsh Trott Chick Smith to Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan. J. Walter Thompson handles the Allied Bakeries business, recently launching a Kingsmill campaign featuring Elvis Presley.
Associated British Foods is majority-owned by the Anglo-Canadian Weston dynasty, a branch of which also owns Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges.
The company recently announced that it was on track to deliver strong second-half growth despite high raw-material costs and additional pension charges in its report due next month. Reports suggest it could be up by as much as 13 per cent year on year.