Saatchis in pounds 50m Rothmans swoop

Saatchi & Saatchi has scooped pounds 50 million worth of pan-European Rothmans business, finally filling the gap left by the departure of the Gallaher account to Maurice and Charles Saatchi’s breakaway agency in 1995.

Saatchi & Saatchi has scooped pounds 50 million worth of

pan-European Rothmans business, finally filling the gap left by the

departure of the Gallaher account to Maurice and Charles Saatchi’s

breakaway agency in 1995.



Saatchis’ first task will be the pounds 35 million launch of Rothmans’

Winfield brand of cigarettes across Europe. Winfield is the number one

cigarette in Australia and has already been launched in France, Spain

and Ireland.



The brand is launching in the UK this month.



Rothmans has also handed the Saatchi network the European accounts for

Rothmans King Size and for all Dunhill and Cartier cigar-ettes. The

appointment was made without a formal pitch.



The UK launch of Winfield will be supported by a major advertising

campaign focusing on the brand’s laid-back Australian characteristics.

But almost half of Saatchis’ work for Rothmans will be below the line

because tobacco advertising is already illegal in several European

countries, including France.



Tobacco advertisers will have to become increasingly imaginative about

promoting their products over the next few years, with the introduction

of advertising bans across the European Union. Finding a solution to

these problems is part of the agency’s brief.



The EU directive banning tobacco advertising is expected to be pushed

through in the UK in the next Parliamentary session, starting in

November.



Posters will be banned in June 2000, with press ads ending a year

later.



Sponsorship would be outlawed by 2003, but the backing of worldwide

events like Formula One would be allowed to continue until 2006.



Last November, Rothmans announced it would put the Winfield brand on its

Will-iams Formula One team, replacing Rothmans King Size.



Tobacco has been high on Saatchis’ hit-list since it lost the Gallaher

business - which included Silk Cut, one of its biggest creative accounts

- to M&C Saatchi in 1995. Last year, the agency pulled out of a Health

Education Authority pitch-list, sparking speculation that it was about

to pick up a tobacco client.



The appointment is a major consolidation of Rothmans’ advertising, much

of which has, until now, been in-house. Media buying, with Carat, is not

affected by the deal.



No-one at Saatchis was available to comment.



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