D'Arcy to repitch for pounds 5m Tetley Tea

Tetley Tea is reviewing its pounds 5 million advertising account

held by D'Arcy in a move that could signal the end of its iconic

frontmen, the Tetley Teafolk.

The move brings D'Arcy's hold on the Tetley account under threat after a

tenure of more than 20 years. The agency picked up the business as

D'Arcy-MacManus Masius in 1979, spearheading campaigns that introduced

the teabag to the British public and unseated PG Tips from its position

as market leader.

The review, which will be conducted through Agency Assessments

International, will be overseen by Tetley GB's marketing director, Nigel

Holland. He confirmed that the shake-up would not include the media

planning and buying account held by MediaVest.

"This doesn't reflect on the excellent work done by D'Arcy to date," he

added. "It will be part of the review process."

Tetley's management has called for a drastic change in the company's

brand strategy as the tea market in the UK comes under increasing

pressure both from fashionable coffee brands and from the expanding

chocolate and malted drinks sector.

Competition for Tetley's UK market leader status has also picked up in

recent years, with PG reintroducing its famous chimps campaign by BMP

DDB and Typhoo launching its "two thumbs fresh" ads through Mother last


Tetley management is said to be undecided on the future of the Teafolk

cartoon characters, which have promoted the company's teabags since


However, agencies briefed by the company have been left with the option

of filtering out Gaffer, Sidney, Maurice and company from the brand's

marketing blend.

The review follows the pounds 271 million acquisition of Tetley by the

Indian company Tata Tea last year. Tetley's strong brand positioning in

the UK was reported at the time to be a major attraction for Tata, which

said it had confidence in the company's existing management and


The deal established Tata-Tetley as the world's second- largest tea


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