BBH wins battle for £15m KFC creative account

LONDON - Bartle Bogle Hegarty has won the £15m KFC creative account after a final shoot-out against Clemmow Hornby Inge.

The account was held by Ogilvy & Mather, which repitched for the account but was knocked out at an early stage in the pitch process. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, also presented for the business unsuccessfully. The pitch was handled by the AAR

KFC, the UK's second-largest fast food chain behind McDonald's, called the pitch when it decided to expand its UK operations.

The fast food chain, which is jointly owned by US firm Yum! Restaurants International and local franchisees, has 600 outlets across the UK. The company plans to open another 165 restaurants by 2005.

"We are entering a new phase of investment and development and want to ensure we have the right partner going forward," KFC marketing director Claire Harrison-Church said when the pitch was called in September.

O&M had handled the UK account since 1996. While the agency's initial work for the brand had largely consisted of adapting the US creative for the UK market, a decision was taken by KFC UK in January this year to change the direction of the advertising away from concentrating on the animated Colonel Saunders character, in an attempt to create a more modern identity and improve sales.

The subsequent live action ads from O&M, scripted in the UK, temporarily ditched the character of Colonel Saunders in favour of a campaign featuring a voiceover from Samuel L Jackson and a new strapline: "Give in to the chicken."

The work is said to have underperformed and this, in combination with management changes at O&M, led the franchisees to call a review.

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

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