Two-way pitch sees Lowe defeat JWT for Nestle's Baci brand

Lowe has won the contest to turn Baci, Nestle's Italian premium chocolate brand, into a serious rival to Ferrero Rocher in the UK.

An estimated £3 million is being put behind efforts to establish the brand, which has not previously been supported above the line, following a pitch between Lowe and J. Walter Thompson, both Nestle roster agencies.

For Lowe, which will also produce advertising for Baci in a number of other European markets, the assignment is the first significant win since the appointment of Matthew Bull as the agency's chief executive earlier this year.

Now Nestle plans to reformulate the product for the British market and use advertising support to establish it as a gift purchase.

The extra promotional support for Baci will put it head-to-head with Ferrero Rocher. Ferrero is famous for its history of awful advertising, epitomised by the "ambassador's party" commercial, which returned to UK screens in a revised form last month.

The "ambassador's party" was dropped when Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB was assigned the account in 1999. It was replaced by new ads under the theme: "Give Fererro Rocher ... grudgingly." Ferrero split with BHO last year.

Publicis took over the account but had to resign it in April because of conflict with incoming Cadbury business.

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