The Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) has farmed out its
estimated pounds 300,000-fee consumer and healthcare PR contracts to its
corporate PR adviser Lowe Bell.
The switch comes as a blow to food PR specialist Richmond Towers which
has handled the consumer business for 26 years.
The MLC pulled in Lowe Bell Consultants on an estimated contract of
pounds 20,000 a month one year ago, when the BSE crisis struck. It has
continued to advise the body on corporate issues.
Now, with the help of its consumer arm Lowe Bell Good Relations, it will
handle the generic promotion of beef, pork and lamb. It will also take
on the MLC’s British Sausage Bureau and its media help desk, the British
Meat Information Service.
Healthcare PR, last handled 12 months ago by Countrywide Porter Novelli,
will be run through the Lowe Bell-owned agency Green Moon The PR firm
will talk to health professionals about the role of meat in diets and
publicise the meat industry’s efforts to lower the fat content of meat,
especially pork. The total budget for both contract is around pounds 1
Richmond Towers has held onto the MLC’s trade and catering business.
The trade account, which it has handled for 30 years, involves talking
to butchers and supermarkets while the catering contract revolves around
keeping food outlets informed about industry developments.
MLC consumer marketing manager Chris Lamb said that the move will enable
it to improve the integration of its strategies.
Outside the UK, the Commission uses Scope Ketchum Communications. The
agency was originally hired to promote British meat in six European
markets. The pounds 150,000 contract was switched to a smaller internal
communications one in the light of BSE but may be re-introduced in the