Golden Wonder had previously split its business between Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which handled the Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies brands, and Quiet Storm, responsible for the crisps brand. Neither of the incumbents repitched for the business.
Golden Wonder claims it is planning a major assault on the £2.2 billion UK snackfood market. Its recent advertising support has been minimal and the brands have been heavily outspent by its arch-rival Walkers. Last year, just £500,000 was channelled into advertising campaigns for Golden Wonder crisps, mainly in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
At the same time, Golden Wonder is also close to signing a leading sports celebrity to play a corporate role in the company. However, their remit will not extend to appearing in the new advertising.
The brand consultancy Sandom Group recently picked up the packaging and design brief from the snackfood company.
Kirsty Taylor, the Golden Wonder marketing director, refused to confirm the appointments. She said: "We are talking to a number of agencies about above-the-line support for selected Golden Wonder brands this year. We hope to be in a position to confirm details of at least one agency appointment within a matter of weeks."
Golden Wonder is the UK's third-largest snack producer, after Walkers and KP. Golden Wonder-branded crisps account for about 20 per cent of the company's sales.
Meanwhile, JWT has set up a separate division called High Street at JWT to handle the Vodafone retail account, worth £3 million above the line.
It will also pitch for third-party business in due course.