Lexis defeats three to land Centura account

Lexis Public Relations has defeated three agencies in a competitive pitch to scoop the pounds 300,000 budget Centura Foods account.

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

McDougall.



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

the account.



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.



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