Publicis has become the sixth agency in nine years to be handed the
job of transforming the faded fortunes of Ryvita crispbread.
The appointment - made after Publicis was asked to consider a new
strategy for the brand - comes after ’polite disagreements’ were cited
as the reason for its split with Ogilvy & Mather (Campaign, 23
It extends the relationship between Publicis and Ryvita’s parent, Allied
Bakeries, for which it has handled the Kingsmill and Allinson brands for
the past two years. New TV advertising will break at the start of
The latest switch comes after a series of abortive agency relationships
since 1989 as Ryvita has attempted to sustain leadership of a static
pounds 27 million UK crispbread market in which its share has been
eroded by own-label brands.
Ryvita is best remembered for the ’inch war’ advertising, created by
Saatchi & Saatchi during the 70s, which centred on a tape measure around
a girl’s waist.
Since then, LansdownEuro, Tilby & Leeves, CDP, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
and O&M have all attempted to refresh the stale image of the 62-year-old
brand by trying to attract younger consumers and taking it into new
Invariably, the agency relationships have floundered because of
strategic and creative differences.
Rick Bendel, the Publicis group chairman, claimed Ryvita had lost its
relevance because all its most recent advertising had tried to reinvent
the ’inch war’ work. ’In fact, the brand fits neatly with today’s trend
which is less about dieting and more about positive health,’ he
O&M’s most recent attempt to distance Ryvita from its health food image
was a TV commercial featuring a bikini-clad girl walking into the middle
of a bank raid and featuring the line: ’You’ll feel so good there’s
nothing you can’t do.’