BMP DDB has won the Chicken Tonight UK creative business from J.
Walter Thompson in a move which will see the ex-footballer Ian Wright
dropped from the brand's advertising.
The reshuffle, by the parent company, Unilever Bestfoods, is part of
Unilever's realignment of its £200 million global agency roster,
which was first announced in February.
BMP is currently developing strategic ideas for the brand, but it is
unlikely that any new work will break until the beginning of next
Unilever has backed the brand with a £2 million spend over the
The DDB network will handle Chicken Tonight and other Knorr savoury
business in the US, most of Western Europe, and other regions including
North Africa and Russia. JWT will handle the accounts in Asia-Pacific,
Germanic Europe and the Latin American regions.
JWT had held the Chicken Tonight account since the range of sauces was
launched in 1993. It has produced memorable advertising for the brand,
with its 1995 campaign introducing people flapping their arms in the
manner of a chicken. The campaign introduced the "I feel like Chicken
Wright was first cast in the 1998 Chicken Tonight series of ads. In one
execution, the football star dressed up in a smoking jacket and uttered
"One feels like Chicken Tonight" in a pronounced upper-class accent.
However, the brand attracted controversy in March this year when the
Independent Television Commission banned an ad featuring a woman
meditating in front of a jar of Chicken Tonight. The watchdog, which
received 16 complaints about the commercial, ruled that her Hindi-style
chanting was offensive to the largely vegetarian Hindu population.
The sauce brand then teamed up with Sky Digital and Open in February
last year to launch the UK's first national interactive television
commercial for its Stir It Up brand. Viewers were able to press a button
on their remote control and go online to apply for a voucher that was
redeemable in shops.