Poulter in talks with Ashbury over plans for chocolate brand

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.

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

possible appointment.



Ashbury has had a policy of continuous development of new products which

have been aimed mainly at children.