NEWS: Lever hands pounds 10m Surf to A&P Lintas

Lever Brothers has knocked Foote Cone and Belding off its roster and awarded its pounds 10 million Surf business to Ammirati and Puris/Lintas.

Lever Brothers has knocked Foote Cone and Belding off its roster and

awarded its pounds 10 million Surf business to Ammirati and

Puris/Lintas.



The low-cost washing detergent ‘value brand’ was originally awarded to

the Creative Business in May 1991, four months before the agency merged

with FCB.



A Lever Brothers spokes-woman confirmed the move, which returns the

brand to Lintas after a four-year absence. ‘Surf will move from FCB to

Lintas at the beginning of 1996 for reasons of agency alignment,’ she

said. ‘All of the other Lever value brands in Europe are with Lintas, so

it makes sense for Surf to be there too.’



The other value brands are Omo in France and Sunil in Germany. All three

will be co-ordinated by Lintas’s Paris office, but they will continue to

have separate creative treatments in the three key markets.



The spokeswoman added that Lintas will continue to run the current

successful television campaign featuring the Birds of a Feather stars,

Pauline Quirk and Linda Robson, which was first launched by FCB a year

ago.



The move reunites Helen Bell, an A&P/L executive managing partner, with

the brand. She was vice-chairman of FCB until June.



FCB is understood to have been warned some months ago that Surf was

likely to move into one of Lever Brothers’ ‘club’ agencies. The other

two club agencies are Ogilvy and Mather, whose business includes Radion,

Comfort and Dove, and J. Walter Thompson, whose main Lever brand is

Persil.



A&P/L’s existing Lever brands include Domestos bleach, Jif and Sun

dishwasher detergent.



The impending move will be a serious blow to FCB, as Surf represented

almost a quarter of the agency’s pounds 43.9 million billings in 1994

(Register-MEAL).



The FCB managing director, Chris Rendel, refused to comment on the loss.



Surf’s value share of the pounds 1.137 billion UK washing detergent

market has declined over the past few years, dipping from 7.6 per cent

in 1990 to just 4 per cent in 1994, according to Datamonitor. However,

the launch of the current campaign last year is thought to have reversed

this slide.



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