IPA Effectiveness Awards 2005: Gold Award - Best Read - Sponsored by Independent News & Media (Northern Ireland)

ROUNDUP WEEDKILLER Campaign: Making a killing Client: Monsanto Agency: BLM Media Principal authors: Guy Abrahams, Kate Williams Media used: TV


Roundup began promoting the benefits of its weedkiller with straight-talking advertising in 2002. The strategy took it from a failing, third-ranked outsider to the undisputed market leader in volume and value.

The first year of Roundup's advertising helped to grow the market by nearly 50 per cent and delivered an 86 per cent rise in volume sales.

This was despite the fact that Roundup was a very young brand and was far from being a household name. It didn't help that it cost 43 per cent more than the advertised competition.

Without the help of price reductions or changes in distribution, television advertising alone drove down the perceived effectiveness of the competition and made Roundup the top brand for key weedkilling properties. In doing so, the advertising has delivered £19 million in additional sales and millions of extra profit.


"The judges felt this enthusiastic paper had bags of energy and a great focus on proving effectiveness. The campaign was particularly noteworthy, given the size of the task it faced, but it turned the brand around and took it to number one in the market. The campaign used sound consumer insight, had strong creative and presented a single-minded and believable message aggressively.

"The authors made a compelling case for the elimination of other variables and demonstrated good evaluation in this confident, ballsy paper, which is well deserving of its Gold Award and Best Read prize."

- Stephen Grimason, director of communications for the Information Service in Northern Ireland.