Clarion Communications has beaten off competition from three other
agencies to scoop the entire trade PR portfolio for Unilever Bestfoods
The appointment means Clarion will represent a host of well-known brands
including Flora, Hellmann's, Chicken Tonight, Pot Noodle and
The six-figure account begins on 1 July and operates on an annual
rolling basis, adding to Clarion's client list, which includes Quaker,
GlaxoSmithKline and Warburton's.
The account is to be led by Clarion director Amanda Meyrick, reporting
to Helen Park, Unilever Bestfoods PR and sponsorship manager.
Unilever Bestfoods was formed in January this year following the merger
of Van den Bergh Foods and Bestfoods UK. The combined organisation has
annual sales approaching pounds 900m, and employs more than 3,000 people
at 16 locations across the UK.
Clarion managing director Gary Freemantle cited Clarion's experience in
dealing with newly merged brands - including household and cleaning
group Reckitt Benckiser (PRWeek, 8 December 2000) - as a factor in the
'The key thing for us is to promote a unified company profile following
the merger,' Freemantle said.
The agency will seek to encourage brand loyalty from trade retailers and
in particular from independent vendors.
Educational and media relations also feature in the agency's plans.
Recent publicity for Unilever has centred on comments by the company's
co-chairman Niall FitzGerald, who has admitted that the firm has raised
prices across mainland Europe to pre-empt the introduction of the euro
at the start of next year.
Fitzgerald, chairman of the Britain in Europe lobbying group, claimed
manufacturers would only cause confusion by raising prices once the
currency enters circulation.