The appointment comes as Heinz seeks to reposition its baby food range and move the advertising away from its core roster agency, Leo Burnett, which already handles a number of other products. Media buying will remain with Starcom Motive. Leo Burnett did not pitch for the baby food business, thought to be worth £5 million each year.
WCRS' hiring comes just months after the company invested £3 million in revamping its baby food range, with new packaging, recipes and an organic option called Simply. Brann Ellert created the £1 million launch campaign for the organic brand. Heinz currently sells $1 billion worth of baby food globally. Any creative work is not expected to break for some time.
The strategic pitch was handled by ISBA and coordinated at Heinz by development manager Victoria Maxwell and general manager for baby feeding Clodagh Ward, the winner of last year's
Marketing Society prize for best new marketer. She was involved in the relaunch of the once-doomed Salad Cream brand, which was successfully repositioned to appeal to a younger, more upmarket audience.
Ward said: "We chose WCRS because we felt it not only demonstrated understanding of our strategic vision for the brand, but also because we were impressed by its creative thinking. There is a good cultural fit between the organisations."
WCRS business development director Julian Hough said: "Heinz is one of the best brands in the world, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to work on the baby food account."