Nestlé hands consumer pet-food job to Clarion

Pet-food giant Nestlé Purina PetCare (NPP) has appointed Clarion Communications to handle UK consumer PR across its portfolio, which includes brands such as Felix, Winalot and Go-Cat.

Clarion’s appointment, after a three-way pitch, follows the end of a two-year relationship with Brave PR.

Other brands in Clarion’s contract include Bakers, Bonio, Pro Plan, Purina One and the Gourmet range. The agency’s task begins immediately, although most campaigns will run next year.

Brave was set to unleash a PR campaign to promote premium dry food Purina One, NPP’s biggest UK brand launch for 2004, just three months ago (PRWeek, 4 June), but the activity was pulled when NPP decided to repitch Brave’s account.

NPP head of comms Mary Sharrock said the Purina One campaign was pulled in July. ‘We pushed the [Purina One] programme back to 2005 as we looked again at our budgets,’ she said.

Sharrock insisted the end of NPP’s relationship with Brave was ‘amicable’, adding: ‘We looked internally at how we did things – we wanted an opportunity to see what else was out there.’

Clarion’s fees are undecided but are likely to be similar to those of Brave, which was hired in 2002 on fees of around £250,000 (PRWeek, 23 August 2002).

Clarion MD Gary Freemantle said promotion of the climax of the annual Pup of the Year contest, sponsored by Pro Plan, will kick off 2005’s PR activity.

Brave described its relationship with NPP as ‘long and highly productive’.

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