Greene King calls review

Brewing giant searches for agency to handle Old Speckled Hen advertising brief.

Old Speckled Hen, the Greene King-owned ale brand, is on the hunt for an agency to handle an advertising brief.

The brewer has approached a number of undisclosed agencies to pitch for the business, which is understood to incl-ude the creation of a series of sponsorship idents.

Greene King, the parent company, which also owns Abbot Ale, IPA and Ruddles County, has previously partnered with Fallon to produce advertising for Old Speckled Hen. The agency picked up a brief to rejuvenate the brand in November 2007 without a pitch.

Fallon, which will not pitch for this brief, subsequently launched a campaign for the brand in February last year. Its work featured a set of contemporary-looking characters and settings, such as flatmates eating a pizza and friends in a local pub. These characters posed in the style of an 18th century painting.

The successful agency will be briefed produce an ident campaign that will seek to build on Old Speckled Hen's popularity. Its sales have grown since the brand re-launched in 2006 with a lower alcohol-by-volume measure and new-look bottles.

According to Mintel figures released last year, Greene King increased its market share in the on-trade draught ale and stout category by 16.7 per cent, while Old Speckled Hen was the fourth most popular ale in the off-trade ale and stout category, increasing its sales by nearly 2 per cent between 2005 and 2007.

In the past, Greene King has been an official sponsor of the England rugby team, while Old Speckled Hen sponsored the television show Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in 2006.

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