Premier Foods kicks off £26m media pitch

Premier Foods is set to consolidate its £26 million media planning and buying business into one agency.

A pitch is expected to take place between Starcom, which won the £15 million Premier business in December last year, and Universal McCann, which handles the £11 million RHM business.

The process follows Premier's £1.2 billion acquisition of RHM, which went through in March. Senior marketers at Premier are said to prefer a two-way pitch, rather than moving the business straight into one of the agencies.

Potential efficiencies are said to be driving the process at Premier, which owns food brands including Branston, Campbell's, Fray Bentos and the Loyd Grossman range of products. The RHM acquisition brought famous names such as Hovis, Sharwood's and Mr Kipling into the company.

At the moment, Premier retains five advertising agencies, but there is no indication that it plans to review this set- up. The agencies are: CHI & Partners, DDB London, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, McCann Erickson, and Publicis.

Premier Foods was formerly part of the Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Group and floated on the stock market in 2004.

Last year, it bought the Campbell Soup Company, before the company made the RHM acquisition.

The commercial director at Premier, Howard Beveridge, was unavailable for comment.