McVitie’s go ahead! set for PR onslaught

United Biscuits (UB) is preparing a consumer PR push for McVitie’s go ahead! range in October to explain its second repositioning in little more than a year.

A consumer PR campaign by Nexus Communications will focus on women’s monthly and weekly magazines to communicate the changes to go ahead!, which from 1 October will include an extended range and nutritional improvements to some lines .

‘The campaign looks to break go ahead! out of niche slimming and dieting media and move it into a more inclusive and mainstream audience, particularly women aged 30-plus,’ said Nexus MD Alan Twigg.

UB pumped £3.5m into marketing for a revamp of the low-fat range last September that included new packaging and the introduction of rice crisp bar variants and a mixed berry cereal bar.

The target audience has been widened as the brand responds to increasing media interest on the obesity issue.

The McVitie’s go ahead! range was launched in 1996 and retains CirKle Communications to handle trade media relations. It has hired Nexus as its consumer PR agency following a five-way pitch.

UB media relations manager Alexandra Chilvers said the resignation of UK MD Will Carter in August had not had an effect on the company’s plans to reposition the go ahead! brand. Carter has been replaced by UB MD for Northern Europe Benoit Testard.

Chilvers said media reports that UB had suspended marketing budgets for the second half of the year were inaccurate.

She added that the go ahead! range will absorb the a:m Granola Bar, with the McV sub-brand due to be axed at the beginning of next year.

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