Lexis Public Relations has defeated three agencies in a competitive
pitch to scoop the pounds 300,000 budget Centura Foods account.
The prize is what Centura describes as its ’best of British’ brands:
stuffing mix Paxo, Bisto gravy granules, Saxa salt, jam brand
Robertson’s and Sharwood’s Indian and Chinese food ranges.
The brief covers consumer and trade PR, as well as an element of
corporate communications for Centura, a subsidiary of Rank Hovis
It is the first time the company has had a single agency for the full
portfolio of brands. Previously, Nexus Choat and BMA Communications
handled PR for the various brands. Both are believed to have pitched for
Rebecca Wagstaffe, group account director, will head the account and
report to Ginny Knox, who is brands director of Centura Foods. She said
the account team would aim to target new audiences.
’The food pages are still important,’ Wagstaffe said, ’but we want to go
into new areas.’
There are also upcoming product developments for all the brands, which
will help create interest in the trade media.
The jam and preserve sector, worth an estimated pounds 235 million, is
in decline, but Robertson’s is introducing new products such as
squeezable jam bottles in an attempt to increase sales.
However the ethnic food market, which Sharwood’s estimates is worth
pounds 227 million annually, is booming and Sharwood’s already has the
largest Chinese and Indian ranges.
’There is a new sense of adventure in cooking, and our job is to take
that forward and get people to try foods outside their normal
repertoire,’ said Wagstaffe.
Centura also retains Wearne Associates, part of Bell Pottinger Good
Relations, for crisis management and corporate PR.