BBH triumphs in £15m KFC creative shoot-out

Bartle Bogle Hegarty has scooped the £15 million KFC account following a four-way pitch.

The result follows a final round of pitches, from BBH and Clemmow Hornby Inge, which took place on Monday 25 November. The original shortlist also included Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and the incumbent, Ogilvy & Mather. The pitch was handled by the AAR.

KFC has 600 outlets across the UK and plans to open a further 165 restaurants by 2005. Its marketing strategy was shaken up by the appointment of a new marketing director, Claire Harrison-Church, in September last year. Harrison-Church arrived from Lever Faberge, where she headed marketing for Lynx - a BBH client of nearly eight years.

Within four months of Harrison-Church's arrival, KFC decided temporarily to move away from its advertising using an animated Colonel Saunders character in favour of a campaign featuring a voiceover from Samuel L Jackson and the endline: "Give in to the chicken." However, this work is thought to have underperformed.

Gwyn Jones, BBH's managing director, said: "KFC is one of the most successful food retail brands in this market and the work we do has got not just to build a brand but also sell chicken.

"KFC has got great ambition and it wants great work and we've never had a food retailer as a client before so this is an exciting opportunity for us."

Jones dismissed observations that BBH will find it difficult to handle such a fast turnaround client as KFC. He said: "Look at the volume of work expected from clients such as Audi, T-Mobile and Barclays. There is no business of that scale that doesn't carry the demands and pressure of fast turnaround, so we're going into this with our eyes wide open."

KFC's media buying and planning account, which is held by Zenith Media, is not affected by the review.

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