Tetley calls creative agency review through AAR

Tea brand joins rival Twinings in starting agency search after splitting with Spark44.

Tetley: Spark44 introduced tea-loving cat Ella
Tetley: Spark44 introduced tea-loving cat Ella

Tea brand Tetley is searching for a new creative agency having mutually parted ways with Spark44 after three years.

Tetley is working with AAR on the review process and is holding chemistry meetings next week (beginning 18 January) in the expectation of making an appointment in the spring.

The change of plan by the Tata Consumer Products company comes at the same time as rival top-selling tea brand Twinings split with M&C Saatchi and started its own creative agency search. 

Tetley, Twinings, Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips collectively account for about 70% of tea sold in UK supermarkets, according to Nielsen data.

Spark44's relationship with Tetley started in 2018 after a non-competitive pitch. The brand had previously worked with Creature since 2013.

Tetley is not reviewing its media planning and buying, which is handled by MediaCom.

Sinead McAleese, marketing and innovation director at Tetley, said: “We have enjoyed a very productive relationship with Spark44, who have been key in helping us relaunch the brand in the UK and I thank them for their enthusiasm and input.

"We are now looking for a fresh pair of eyes to take the brand to the next stage in our development and are looking forward to finding an agency partner to help us with this exciting task.”

Dudley Desborough, managing director and global head of accounts at Spark44 London, said the agency was “incredibly grateful to have led the relaunch of such an iconic brand and subsequently see the nation fall in love with Dave and Ella".

Dave and Ella are a chinwagging dog and cat who appear in the Tetley ad “Now we’re talking”, which was ranked the third most-effective TV ad of 2019 in the UK by System1, in partnership with ITV.

Desborough added: “Having also worked on campaigns for Cold Infusions, the new Herbals range and the implementation of the new social strategy the brand is now in a strong position for a new agency to take over.”


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