Kerry Foods in ad review

Incumbent Quiet Storm threatened as agencies line up for £5m Cheestrings brief.

Kerry Foods is on the hunt for an advertising agency to handle the £5 million advertising account for Cheestrings.

The company is understood to have approached a number of London-based creative agencies with a communications brief that includes TV and press.

The enquiry has come from Kerry Foods' Manchester office and is understood to be at an early stage. It is unclear if the incumbent, Quiet Storm, will repitch for the business.

Kerry Foods' search for an agency comes in the wake of tighter restrictions on food advertising, as well as a number of initiatives to counteract perceptions of its brand as an unhealthy snack.

Earlier this year, Kerry Foods invested heavily in advertising to support a relaunch of Cheestrings. The push included a major TV campaign, created by Quiet Storm, featuring a schoolboy enjoying the product in his lunch hour before leaping up and bursting into song.

The brief for the campaign was to promote Cheestrings as a healthy snack for children.

The relaunch coincided with Ofcom's first set of rules on junk-food advertising to children that came into effect in April.

These rules banned foods high in fat, salt or sugar being shown during or around programmes that are made for, or could appeal to, children under the age of ten. The second wave of regulations comes into force at the beginning of January next year.

It is one of a number of initiatives. Earlier this year, the Food Standards Agency launched a £2 million TV campaign in wake of its food labelling system designed to promote healthier eating.

The campaign had the support of Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Co-op and Asda. However, it was rejected by a number of other supermarket chains that have ploughed £4 million into a rival campaign which promotes the "guideline daily amount system".

Media for Cheestrings, which is handled by Vizeum and Universal McCann, is unaffected.

Kerry Foods has offices in Surrey, Manchester and Dublin. Its portfolio of brands includes the meat company Wall's and the dairy brands Golden Vale and EasiSingles.

A spokesman for Kerry Foods denied that a pitch was taking place.

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