Ogilvy & Mather has snatched Van den Bergh’s pounds 3 million Ragu
pasta sauce business from Ammirati Puris Lintas following a competitive
APL, which has lost a string of Unilever-owned brands in the past two
years to rival roster shops, was forced to fight for Ragu six weeks ago
in a pitch against O&M and J. Walter Thompson. O&M learned it had won
the business last Friday.
Richard Pinder, O&M’s managing director, commented: ’The task we set
ourselves two years ago was building Unilever. It’s great to be building
one of the divisions that cares most about creative work.’
Chris Thomas, APL’s chief executive, said: ’Ragu is a very strong brand
for which we have done wonderful work in the past. We presented powerful
We are bitterly disappointed but it’s only on loan.’
O&M is expected to relaunch the brand later this year. Ragu is trailing
behind the market leader, Dolmio, which had annual sales last year of
pounds 55 million compared with Ragu’s pounds 25 million. Dolmio also
spends far more on advertising than Ragu - pounds 6.6 million compared
with Ragu’s pounds 1.2 million, according to AC Nielsen-MEAL.
O&M has also won the remaining global Impulse business from APL after
winning the pounds 10 million European account in January 1997. It is
now responsible for the deodorant range in Latin America, Central Asia
and the Middle East.
No-one at Van den Bergh was available to comment on O&M’s appointment.