Danone hands consumer UK remit to Cohn & Wolfe

Cohn & Wolfe has scooped a UK consumer PR remit for French dairy products firm Danone.

C&W won a month-long, three-way pitch for the business, which is the first time Danone has brought in retained external consumer UK PR assistance for any of the four products in the remit.

These are Activia, Actimel, Gervais and Shape. C&W will also handle overall profile-raising work on the main Danone brand.

Total fees for the contract are understood to be in the region of £500,000, with the spend divided evenly across the brands.

C&W marketing communications division MD Ash Coleman-Smith heads an account team of around five staff on the remit, reporting to Danone UK marketing director Cath Pickering.

Coleman-Smith said C&W planned to give a 'kick-start' to the brand in the UK where the various campaigns will 'help people identify with' Danone.

Danone acquired Shape - a range of low-fat yoghurts and puddings - from Uniq in August this year. C&W aims to 'redefine' the brand.

Activia is a bio-yoghurt, Actimel is a probiotic yoghurt drink and Gervais is a yoghurt drink that is designed specifically for young children.

Probiotics are live organisms that improve bacteria balance within the digestive system.

Key targets for the consumer PR campaigns - which are due to begin at the start of 2003 - will be young women and mothers with families.

However, Coleman-Smith said he foresaw the target audience for the campaigns broadening as the year progressed.

Other brands that are owned by the Danone group - which employs more than 100,000 staff worldwide - include mineral waters Evian, Volvic and Aqua, in addition to the biscuit brands LU and Jacob's crackers.

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