The future of one of the UK’s most famous TV commercials, Ferrero
Rocher’s ’ambassador’s party’, is in doubt after it emerged that the
Italian chocolate company has begun talks with agency networks about
unifying its massive pounds 200 million spend around Europe.
Brian Olivares, the director of marketing services at Ferrero’s new
European co-ordination centre in Luxembourg, has held a series of
top-secret meetings in London and elsewhere with a number of agencies
including McCann-Erickson, Leo Burnett, TBWA and Lowe Howard-Spink.
Discussions have ranged from the harmonisation and possible
centralisation of Ferrero’s giant European budget to specific talks
about Ferrero’s pounds 10 million account in the UK, which is split
between Lansdown Conquest and BMB Advertising.
Ferrero’s UK marketing manager, Rod Groundes-Peace, declined to comment
on the talks, but other sources close to the discussions said pitches
were well advanced, moving on from the credentials stage to the
presentation of possible solutions to the group’s European strategy.
Media, which is handled by Initiative Media in the UK, is not understood
to be involved in the review process. Agencies contacted declined to
Ferrero, which began as a specialist chocolate manufacturer in Turin, is
now a major international group, marketing such brands as Ferrero Rocher
chocolates, Nutella hazelnut spread, Kinder Surprise Eggs and Tic
It has huge plants in Italy and Germany and factories in France,
Belgium, Ireland, Puerto Rico and Australia. However, it is still a
family-run concern and, to date, has handled both creative and media on
its advertising on a piecemeal basis using a variety of agencies in
’Ambassador’s party’ was originally developed in Italy, with a separate
version produced in Germany, but has since been reshot by Brian Byfield
Olivares was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.