UK's Northern Foods to consolidate £10m media account

- Northern Foods, whose brands include Eden Vale, Dalepak, Pork Farm and Foxes Biscuits, has appointed the media auditing company Barsby Rowe with a view to centralising its entire £10 million media business.

- Northern Foods, whose brands include Eden Vale, Dalepak, Pork Farm and Foxes Biscuits, has appointed the media auditing company Barsby Rowe with a view to centralising its entire £10 million media business.

Northern Foods' account is currently split across a range of media companies. Amongst the incumbent media suppliers are Zenith Media, which handles Eden Vale; MindShare, which has the Fox's account; CIA Medianetwork, which has Dalepak; BBJ Media Services, which handles Green Isle Pizza, and Motive Communications, which has the Pork Farm business.

Northern Foods' total media spend across all its brands topped £10 million last year and the company is now looking for a more coherent media strategy and greater cost-efficiencies from its media spend.

Unlike most of its competitors in the food market, Northern Foods has so far resisted media centralisation, with its individual operating divisions having autonomy over their media suppliers.

However, marketing director Bill McKeever has now decided to examine the viability of pooling media spend across all divisions and has drafted in Barsby Rowe to steer the process.

Although Barsby Rowe has not been given the green light yet to brief agencies for a centralisation, the auditor is understood to have begun collating information on the performance of the different brands and their media buying companies.

If, as expected, Northern Foods decides to go for a media centralisation, pitches are not likely before August with a single media planning and buying agency in place for the 2000 negotiations in the autumn.





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