John West hears pitches to launch new products

Leading canned tuna brand John West is in the process of selecting an agency for product launches later this year.

Leading canned tuna brand John West is in the process of selecting

an agency for product launches later this year.



The company is understood to have heard pitches from, among others,

Lexis PR and Talk Loud. It has used specialist food agency Wearne

Associates on all product launches over the past nine years.



Wearne Associates is in the process of being acquired by Bell Pottinger,

which plans to transfer its clients into the Good Relations Group (PR

Week, 8 October), while the Wearne brand will be rebuilt as a crisis

management specialist.



Wearne MD Alison Wearne said she was unaware that John West was looking

for a different agency. John West, Talk Loud and Lexis PR were

unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.



John West has annual sales of more than pounds 156 million. However, the

canned fish market is slightly down, with a drop in sales of 6.3 per

cent, according to market research group AC Nielsen.



As a result, the company is to spend pounds 6 million this year on brand

support, including new packaging, product development and television

advertising.



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