Cadbury to resurrect Wispa after social network pressure

LONDON - Cadbury is to bring back one of its most famous brands, the Wispa chocolate bar, after a growing campaign on social networking websites forced the confectionery giant to bring about its return.

The iconic 1980s chocolate bar, which was discontinued in 2003, is set to make a comeback next month after thousands of consumers lobbied Cadbury on MySpace and Facebook, which spawned a 14,000-strong Bring Back Wispa group, to reintroduce one of its most enduring brands.

Wispa, which was first launched in 1981, is set to return on October 7 when Cadbury will reintroduce 23m bars to the UK market. It is understood the bar, which had its main competition from Nestle's Aero, will cost 42p.

Cadbury said Wispa would be reintroduced for an unspecified limited period, but it could make an indefinite return if it proves to be a hit with chocolate lovers.

Among the more curious user-generated campaigns set up to bring about Wispa's return is a Bebo group called We Like Wispa, and a YouTube video of the brand's TV ads, featuring Victoria Wood, Julie Walters and Windsor Davies, under its strapline, "bite it and believe it".

Wispa was withdrawn from UK sale in 2003, following declining sales and production problems. However, the brand spawned a number of spin-off and limited edition flavours in its 22-year existence, including the caramel-filled Wispa Gold, cappuccino-flavoured Wispaccino, caramel and biscuit Wispa Bite, and the popular Wispa Mint.

The confectionery giant said it often received letters from consumers calling for the return of numerous defunct brands, including Aztec Bar and Amazin' Raisin.

Tony Bilsborough, spokesman for Cadbury, said: "We have noticed the web interest for some time and the consumer passion has undeniably swayed our opinion to relaunch Wispa.

"This is the first time that the power of the internet played such an intrinsic role in the return of a Cadbury brand.

"Our challenge is whether there is a genuine desire to see it come back. If the internet reflects what the public are thinking, we will bring it back permanently."