Magic Hat celebrates its first win since relaunch with pounds 2m Cobra

McCann-Erickson's newly relaunched youth operation, Magic Hat, has

won the pounds 2 million creative account for Cobra beer after a final

pitch against Grey.

The appointment concludes a complex review process that has seen a total

of seven agencies pitch for the business this year. St Luke's, J. Walter

Thompson and Large, Smith and Walford contested the account in


However, the review was then reopened with Magic Hat, Leo Burnett, Grey

and Soul stepping forward to pitch last month.

The agency hunt was triggered by Team Saatchi's decision to resign the

account after failing to agree a new strategy for the brand with Cobra.

The agency had positioned Cobra as the curry- lover's beer of choice,

through the, "Curryholic Dave," character, who drinks bottles while

wearing a paper bag over his head.

Magic Hat's appointment will signal the end for Dave. The character will

be replaced in a new strategy intended to back the beer's move into more

mainstream retail and pub outlets. Cobra is already sold in Harrods and

a number of supermarkets.

The win is the first for Magic Hat since the agency was relaunched as a

total communications agency last month. McCann-Erickson UK's executive

planning director, Robin Lauffer, and creative director Luke White were

brought in to head the agency following the departure of Magic Hat

founder Simon Abboud for a full-time career in directing.

Magic Hat and Cobra were unavailable for comment as Campaign went to