Associated British Foods, (ABF) the FTSE 100-listed food products
giant, is looking to appoint a financial PR agency for the first
ABF does not run a corporate press office, and media enquiries are
handled by the relevant plc director. But its individual brands -
including Twinings teas, Silver Spoon sugar, Kingsmill and Sunblest
bread, and Jammy Dodgers and Wagon Wheels biscuits - use consumer or
brand PR agencies on a variety of retained and project contracts.
Hiring a financial PR agency is one of the responsibilities of Geoff
Lancaster, the head of the five-strong communications unit at ABF’s key
subsidiary, British Sugar.
The process is at an early stage, and it is thought that a shortlist has
not yet been drawn up, but a British Sugar spokesman confirmed that
several agencies were being considered, including Citigate Dewe
Citigate has been used by ABF in the past on a project basis and handled
financial PR for ABF’s sale in 1997 of its Irish supermarket chain to
According to a City source, the size of the company - it employs 32,000
people and made sales of almost pounds 5 billion in 1998 - led Lancaster
to consider hiring a full-time financial PR agency.