Cadbury Schweppes in travel trade media drive

Cadbury Schweppes has appointed Kavanagh Communications to handle trade media relations for its international travel retail division CSITR.

Cadbury’s is the world’s largest confectionery firm but has lagged behind in airport terminals where competitors Nestlé, Masterfoods and Kraft Jacobs Suchard, have dominated.

Media relations strategy will centre on informing international trade press including DFNI, The Business, The Moody Report and Frontier about new product launches. Kavanagh will also make new CSITR general manager Steve Brock available to the media and ensure CSITR’s presence at trade exhibitions including upcoming events in Orlando and Cannes.

Brock said Cadbury’s has not previously used a PR agency for the division, and has a small market share of the travel retail channel that includes airport shops, but is ‘a sleeping giant about to wake up’.

Rental prices paid by retailers to airport authorities are ‘incredibly high’, Brock explained, making competition among brands for floor space intense. He said it was imperative for brands to inform the market about differentiators such as discounts on regular lines, and exclusive products targeted at travel retailers such as gift packs.

CSITR will use trade press to communicate two such launches in March, as well as a further six or seven in 2004, as Cadbury’s attempts to translate its position as the world’s largest confectionery firm into travel retail performance.

Kavanagh was appointed without a formal pitch, however a review of its contract is scheduled for the end of the year. Brock said Kavanagh’s experience with clients such as World Duty Free airport stores and BAA Retail is significant in such a specific channel with established trade media contacts.

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