Wall’s owner Kerry puts brand brief up for grabs

Kerry Foods is planning to bring in its first retained agency to handle UK PR across brands including its Mattessons meat range and Wall’s bacon and sausages.

A pitch process is being prepared for a consumer and trade brief that also spans work for brands such as Mr Brain's faggots and Homepride flour.

Toby Langton, marketing director for Kerry's GB brands division, is spearheading the agency hunt.

He said: 'We are reviewing our PR and looking at what we want for the next 12 months and beyond.'

PR for the brands has been handled on an ad hoc basis in the past, with marketing and comms agency Haygarth – which continues to be retained for sales promotions – traditionally handling brand-by-brand consumer projects over the past five years. 

Langton said it was 'likely' Haygarth would be one of around four agencies invited to pitch.

Selected agencies have already been approached but a shortlist has not yet been drawn up, he added. Langton expected the pitch process would be 'held and concluded by December'. Fees were undisclosed.

Kerry's top brands such as Wall's and Richmond have all been 'performing satisfactorily' in their respective categories in the UK, according to the company's interim report on 30 August. Cheestrings – 'the peelable stringy cheese' – has recently increased its market share in the UK, its consumer profile boosted by a major TV ad campaign.

However, Cheestrings is not one of the brands included in the brief up for grabs as its promotional work is managed in Ireland, where parent firm Kerry Group is headquartered. 

Other brands in the remit include Porkinsons, Bowyers and Lawson.
Kerry Group corporate affairs, managed by director of corporate affairs Frank Hayes, is based in County Kerry, while Kerry Foods' GB brand marketers are based in Egham, Surrey.

Langton oversees a nine-strong marketing team.

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