Agencies on alert as Nestle reviews advertising strategy

LONDON - Nestle Rowntree UK's roster agencies J Walter Thompson and Lowe are on alert after its new managing director, Chris White, announced a review of its advertising and marketing strategy.

Top of the review list is the flagship Kit Kat brand, which is handled by JWT. The review comes despite Kit Kat winning top honours at the Account Planning Group's planning awards. The Kit Kat frontman, Jason Statham, is being dropped from the ads as Nestle looks for more product-focused promotions.

A Nestle spokesman said: "Chris White's aim is that all marketing and advertising has to give consumers a reason to buy the product. We are looking for more rational advertising. Kit Kat is a flagship brand so there is a focus on it to increase sales."

Lowe's work for Milky Bar and Double Cream is also understood to be under scrutiny.

Nestle has already terminated its relationship with M&C Saatchi, which developed creative for the sponsorship of 'Pop Idol', called Choc Idol. It is understood that the project, which promoted a range of products, failed to achieve its targets. David Hudson, the Nestle communications and corporate affairs director, said: "We will be working solely with our aligned agencies for confectionery."

The review is being carried out by Sam Hunter, Nestle's new UK marketing director, and Mike O'Reilly, the consumer communications manager, who used to be a Lowe account director.

The company said it has no plans to change any of its agencies but will move accounts between roster shops if work does not deliver results.

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