Saatchis faces pitch to keep Bisto business

Saatchi & Saatchi is under threat of losing its place on the Centura Foods roster with the news that the £2 million creative account for the gravy brand Bisto is up for review.

The process is being handled by Agency Insight, which will select four agencies to pitch for the business. Saatchis will repitch. An appointment is expected by May.

Saatchis has worked on Bisto since January 1999, when it beat Grey and D'Arcy - then DMB&B - to the task. The move ended Bisto's nine-year relationship with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

In 2000, Saatchis launched an £8 million TV campaign which saw the reintroduction of the famous "aah Bisto!" strapline used in the late 80s.

The other Centura Foods brands, Sharwood's and Robertson's Preserves, will continue to be handled by TBWA/London.

Media planning and buying, handled by BBJ, is unaffected by the Bisto review.

Saatchis' hold on Manor Bakeries, the cake specialist owned by Centura's parent, Rank Hovis McDougall, whose brands include Mr Kipling, Cadbury's Cakes and Lyons, is unaffected.

RHM Foods last held a wide-ranging review of its roster agencies, also run by Agency Insight, in July 1999. It assessed its £12 million business, opting to cut back on using six advertising agencies across six brands.