- Ben & Jerry's, the US luxury ice cream maker that has traditionally turned its back on advertising, has picked the fledgling Renegade agency to handle creative work on its first significant UK campaign.
The appointment by the company, which has built its reputation on the back of PR generated from its social and environmental activism, fits with Renegade's founding philosophy of combining advertising with PR.
Ben & Jerry's is putting £500,000 behind a summer campaign in London and the South East, which will include press and 48-sheet posters as well as ads on London Underground stations. An extension of the campaign into cinemas is under consideration.
Media planning and buying will be handled by New PHD, which put the brand on radio after its appointment in June last year.
The company's decision to take the conventional advertising route follows improved distribution through the major multiples and the belief among company chiefs that, without it, they will remain at a disadvantage against GrandMet's Haagen-Dazs and a growing number of own-labels.
The advertising will coincide with the introduction of up to six new flavours, new packaging and new 100 ml tubs.
The assignment renews the association between Ben and Jerry's and Kelly Walsh, a Renegade founding partner, who worked on a joint promotion with the brand when she was European marketing director of the Gap clothing chain.
Helen Jones, the company's UK sales and marketing manager, said: "I saw work from a number of agencies but I felt that Renegade's campaign stood out as being absolutely appropriate for the brand. Consumer research has borne this out."
Sue Aitken, Renegade's managing partner, commented: "Ben & Jerry's is fun and quirky but, because there has been no focused communication, the brand has not been consistently saying what it's about."
Walsh and Aitken, a former FCB new business director, launched Renegade six months ago with Alan Midgley, the ex-FCB joint creative director, and Rupert Hopkins, a planning consultant.