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Business on the Move Marketing

McVitie’s owner Pladis hands creative and media to Omnicom amid strategy rethink


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

October 28, 2019 | 3 min read

McVitie's owner Pladis has consolidated its creative and media into Omnicom Group, as it looks to grow its footprint in the UK and beyond and bring a “fresh strategy and ambition” to all aspects of its marketing.

McVitie’s owner Pladis consolidates creative and media with Omnicom amid strategy rethink

McVitie's owner Pladis has consolidated its creative and media into Omnicom Group / McVitie’s

The snacking brand has appointed TBWA\London to handle strategic and creative duties while Manning Gottlieb OMD will take control of media planning and buying.

Both agencies will work across a range of the Pladis-owned firm’s brands including McVitie’s flagship biscuits Digestives, Hobnobs, Jaffa Cakes and Rich Tea. Go-Ahead, Jacobs and Carr’s will also fall under their remit.

The appointment comes 12 months after ex-Mondelez exec Sam Mitchell took over as general manager for McVitie's.

It’s understood that Omnicom Group was appointed following a closed pitch process. McVitie's had previously worked with WPP's Grey London on a project basis for creative while Wavemaker held media. Grey also developed one-off campaigns for Go-Ahead and Jacob’s, but Jaffa Cakes had been with The&Partnership, also a WPP agency.

In consolidating its portfolio of brands with Omnicom, Pladis is expecting the agencies to work in an “integrated partnership” to deliver work across everything from ATL through to product development.

Both agencies will be tasked with building new creative platforms for core products and future launches, all while amplifying McVitie’s partnership with Team GB ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They are also charged with helping McVitie's strengthen and grow its footprint within, and outside, the UK.

Under Grey, McVitie's brand strategy was most recently focused on emotional marketing based on the idea that the brand brings people together.

Previously, the Disgestive-maker had used an array of fuzzy CGI animals to appeal to young audiences and make its brand more “sharable”. However, it moved away from that strategy towards more purpose-driven marketing in 2017 with then-marketing boss Sarah Heynen admitting that the impact of the cute creative had “diminished” over the years.

Kantar data claims that the McVitie's brand reaches more than 80% of the UK population – with its footprint larges than Hovis, Walkers or Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

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