Ferrero in talks over UK activity for Nutella

The Ferrero-owned chocolate spread brand Nutella is talking to agencies about an above-the-line assault on the UK market as it seeks to boost its share and brand awareness.

The pitch, which is being run by ISBA, marks the first time the brand has chosen to put a dedicated UK agency in place. It is likely that the pitchlist will include the Ferrero UK roster agency, WCRS, although it is unclear whether its international agency, Leagas Delaney, has been asked to present.

The Italy-based Ferrero spends nearly £11 million a year in the UK advertising its brands, which also include Kinder Surprise, Kinder Bueno and Tic Tac.

It is thought that TV advertising will take a big share of the undisclosed budget set aside by Ferrero UK for Nutella, as it seeks to ramp up the profile of the brand. Recent activity in the UK included a tie-up with The Simpsons and the 2002 film Scooby Doo.

Nutella already enjoys a 28.4 per cent volume share of the sweet spread sector, an increase of 6 per cent on last year, beating Cadbury Smooth and the Mars-manufactured Milky Way, which take an 8.4 and 6.6 per cent share respectively. The bulk of the market share is taken by own-label spreads.

It is thought that Ferrero UK is keen to use advertising to leverage Nutella's cult following in the UK to make the brand perform as it does in Europe. Nutella, traditionally regarded as a breakfast product, has escaped the sales decline that has affected the cereals sector. In fact, Ferrero says the trend for snacking has meant sales of the spread are rising.