Hovis parent company set to extend PR pitch process

The company behind the Hovis brand, British Bakeries, has extended a review of its consumer and trade PR after failing to find an agency to handle the entire brief.

Marketing and innovations director Paula Moss, who is co-ordinating the review, said she wanted a more co-ordinated structure and was now looking at a variety of options.

But despite a number of agencies talking to BB - thought to have included Hill & Knowlton and GCI - Moss said she may abandon her favoured option of hiring just one agency.

Moss, who praised the quality of the individual presentations she had seen so far, said: 'My ideal in the promised land is one agency but I have been dismayed at the process. We have seen some good work on some areas.'

BB currently has no in-house PR function, with three agencies supporting different products. Borkowski PR handles Hovis, Band and Brown Communications has sister bread brand Nimble, while PR efforts for Mother's Pride in Scotland are supported by Weber Shandwick.

Moss said that this arrangement was, 'too bitty,' adding: 'At the moment we are not using PR effort effectively through the business.'

Corporate PR is handled by Weber Shandwick, and Moss confirmed that the review would not affect that relationship.

Borkowski scooped the Hovis account from BSMG, now part of Weber Shandwick, in May last year on a year long contract.

Moss and Borkowski account senior director Dee McCourt confirmed the agency will not work beyond this contract.

Borkowski's work focused on a relaunch of Hovis including a repositioning for the product, away from the long running advertising and marketing featuring a boy on a bike, to a more 'funky' style, according to a Borkowski statement.

British Bakeries is the bread baking arm of Rank Hovis McDougall. Its other divisions include Manor Bakeries, which specialises in cakes - including the Mr Kipling range, Cadbury's Cakes and Lyons - and Centura Foods, which has a product range that includes Paxo, Sharwood's, Bisto and Robertson's.

In a separate development, Borkowski this week picked up the business for Diageo wine brand Piat D'Or. The win follows a four-way competitive pitch. The account will be handled by McCourt.

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