A South African confectionery company is planning a pounds 1.5
million advertising assault on the sector of the UK chocolate market
dominated by Nestle’s Quality Street and Cadbury’s Roses.
Ashbury Confectionery is understood to be in final negotiations with the
Poulter agency in Leeds, before a TV launch campaign is scheduled to
break in the autumn.
Executives from the company’s UK plant in Corby, Northamptonshire, are
believed to have picked Poulters from a pitch list that included BMP
Countrywide, BDH and McCann-Erickson Manchester.
Mario Giannotta, Ashbury’s UK marketing director, would not go into
detail about possible plans. ’We have one or two specific products in
mind for development, but plans will probably not be finalised much
before the end of the year,’ he said.
However, industry sources believe Ashbury is looking to mount a
significant challenge in the so-called ’casket’ sector with its own
product called the Dark Alternative.
The sector is dominated by two names - Quality Street, backed by a
pounds 2.5 million spend through Ammirati Puris Lintas, and Roses, whose
pounds 2.1 million spend is handled by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper.
The launch would mark a major change of gear in the UK by Ashbury, whose
business is mainly in pick ’n’ mix and own-label products.
The Dark Alternative is likely to be pitched between the informal appeal
of Quality Street and Roses and the formal image of gift products such
as Terry’s All Gold and Nestle’s Black Magic.
Richard Lewis, Poulter’s managing director, would not comment on a
Ashbury has had a policy of continuous development of new products which
have been aimed mainly at children.