McCain appoints F-H to deliver health message

McCain, the frozen-food specialist best known for its flagship oven chips, is on the verge of signing Fleishman-Hillard to handle all of its UK PR work.

The agency is expected to put pen to paper on a contract to handle McCain's consumer, trade, corporate and crisis PR within a fortnight. The Scarborough-based company is likely to double its annual PR fees to more than £250,000.

The agency will 'build on' work already done to promote how McCain has cut salt in products such as Mini Waffles and Hash Browns, said a McCain spokesman.

PR activity will also be stepped up around its Lights chip brand, which is marketed to caterers - including schools - as having a relatively low-fat content.

F-H will work alongside retained Westminster-based public affairs shop EUK Consulting to prove to MPs and opinion formers that McCain is making nutritional improvements.

The agency could handle the promotion of new products but PR work on this front is 'not imminent'.

McCain also wants to have a higher profile in trade titles such as The Grocer.

F-H replaces The Red Consultancy, which handled McCain's PR for almost four years (PRWeek, 5 October 2001).

The agency emerged triumphant following a three-way pitch against agencies Cohn & Wolfe and Jackie Cooper PR.

F-H corporate associate director Mark Lyons and consumer director Louisa Jenkins will head up the agency's work, reporting to McCain communications head Simon Eyles.

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