CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Painful switch for Mulller man. But Ken Wood believes the brand’s new comedy stars will pay off. By Jade Garrett

When you’re as keen on Joanna Lumley - star of the previous Muller Fruit Corner ads - as Ken Wood is, it must be hard to accept Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer for the latest Muller Lite ad. Muller’s managing director, and the man who engineered signing Lumley, admits the comic duo are not to everyone’s taste. But he also believes the latest TV campaign’s ’relatively simple but humorous approach’ will appeal to the brand’s 18- to 35-year-old target audience.

When you’re as keen on Joanna Lumley - star of the previous Muller

Fruit Corner ads - as Ken Wood is, it must be hard to accept Vic Reeves

and Bob Mortimer for the latest Muller Lite ad. Muller’s managing

director, and the man who engineered signing Lumley, admits the comic

duo are not to everyone’s taste. But he also believes the latest TV

campaign’s ’relatively simple but humorous approach’ will appeal to the

brand’s 18- to 35-year-old target audience.



The ad, through Team Saatchi, shows stars of the comedy TV series,

Shooting Stars, exploring the themes of pleasure and pain in their own

slapstick style. The idea was chosen to reflect the brand’s qualities of

superior taste and virtually fat-free content and ends with the

strapline: ’Pleasure without the pain.’



While Muller doesn’t have a policy of using celebrities, Wood firmly

believes ’the comedy timing was spot on’ and ’could only be achieved by

using professional comedians, such as Vic and Bob’.



Wood, 46, began his marketing career in 1972 with the then

Birmingham-based Heinz. He stayed with the company for ten years,

working his way up from market research executive. Wood then moved to

Eden Vale - where his roles ranges from acting tea-lady to managing

director - before leaving to set up Muller in the UK.



He began on 1 April 1986 - a date he remembers with telling ease - as

the company’s sole employee. Although he felt lonely at first, the

opportunity was too good to miss. During his ten years at the company,

Wood has overseen the introduction of new product lines, which have

given Muller a leading market share of 27 per cent. But for all this

success, you sense he misses his marketing days a little when he

comments: ’I’m just a meddler now, mine is far more of a general

management role.’



And, as for Joanna Lumley, he’s not letting on where he keeps his signed

photograph. ’That’s mine to know,’ he teases.



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