Chocolate wars hot up as rivals appoint PR shops

Confectioners Thorntons and Godiva are set to go head-to-head in a battle to increase their appeal to younger, sophisticated consumers, while rival Lindt, which already targets this audience, has beefed up its investment in PR.

All three companies this week hired PR agencies to launch campaigns that aim to get lifestyle press coverage through sponsorship of fashion, interior design, food, music or film events.

Thorntons has hired Borkowski PR and Godiva has drafted in Wiggin PR after competitive pitches, while Lindt has hired Redhead PR.

The chocolate brands are keen to present their products in a modern, stylish light, while maintaining their high-quality, traditional image, according to the agencies. They all want to continue to attract older consumers loyal to the brands. All the agencies plan to promote new products by emphasising the craftsmanship, authenticity and history of the brands to the press.

Godiva, which opened its flagship store last year, was established in 1926 – 15 years after Thorntons and 47 years after Lindt. Its PR campaign coincides with its plans to give its packaging, products, advertising and shops a more contemporary image.

Thorntons, which has more than 400 shops and cafés, appointed Borkowski after a five-way pitch involving incumbent Communique PR, The Outside Organisation, Cunning, NP and one other shop. Communique PR will continue to handle PR for its Gift Delivery Service.

Wiggin PR won the Godiva brief, formerly held by Shilland, in a three-way pitch.

Borkowski strategic planning director David Fine leads the Thorntons account, Wiggin MD and founder Molly Wiggin the Godiva account, and Redhead PR founder Sara Tye the Lindt account.

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