Grey has been given another chance to handle the brief on the
troublesome Diamond White brand after a planned review of the business
Earlier this year, Matthew Clark, the cider maker, secretly visited two
agencies, Leagas Delaney and Leo Burnett, for preliminary discussions
about a competitive pitch.
However, its director of brands, Rosemary Neal, is understood to have
pulled the plug on the review before it reached the full-blown pitch
The decision followed the appointment of a heavyweight marketing
director, Rob MacNevin, formerly from Guinness Brewing Worldwide.
The move also coincided with fresh ideas from Grey on its brief for
Diamond White, a brand that has suffered from the advent of alcopops and
a lack of advertising support in recent months.
Matthew Clark’s chief executive, Peter Aikens, is coming under intense
pressure from the City at the moment as he struggles to manage the
acquisition of Taunton Cider, made at the end of 1995. Since then,
profits have lagged behind estimates and the group’s share price has
fallen from a high of pounds 8 to around pounds 3.
Matthew Clark has traditionally preferred trade promotion to
advertising, but this year it announced it would put another pounds 10
million behind advertising its cider brands, including the launch of
Blackthorn Gold, the UK’s first ’smoothflow’ cider.