Dairy Crest brief goes to Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (CDR) has fended off competition from two

other agencies to take the newly created Dairy Crest corporate

account.



The appointment by the food giant - whose brands include Clover, Frijj,

Cathedral City and Yoplait - is the first time it has taken on external

corporate communications support.



Dairy Crest already retains CDR on a financial brief.



The account team is led by head of corporate PR John Hobday, under the

control of executive director Julian Walker, who is overall head of the

CDR Dairy Crest account team. Both accounts report to the dairy's chief

executive John Houliston.



The agency is tasked with raising the firm's corporate profile following

a tumultuous period of poor financial results and mounting opposition

from farming bodies.



Farmers For Action - a pressure group led by fuel protest provocateur

David Handley - has been vocal in its dissatisfaction with Dairy Crest,

calling for farmers to support plans for a buy-out of the firm, which

had operated as an agricultural co-operative until it was floated in

1996.



The move comes as a protest at the low income that farmers say they

receive from the firm, despite the increase in price of dairy products

in the UK.



In addition, the firm's pre-tax profits for the financial year to April

fell 24 per cent to £33.6m, triggering further cost-cutting

measures.



In an effort to boost revenues, the firm has begun trials of milk served

in plastic bags, with the aim of reducing packaging costs and producing

less waste.



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