O&M swipes pounds 3m Ragu from APL

Ogilvy & Mather has snatched Van den Bergh’s pounds 3 million Ragu pasta sauce business from Ammirati Puris Lintas following a competitive pitch.

Ogilvy & Mather has snatched Van den Bergh’s pounds 3 million Ragu

pasta sauce business from Ammirati Puris Lintas following a competitive

pitch.



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

proposals.



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.



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