Clarion hired to boost Bernard Matthews

Turkey producer Bernard Matthews Farms has called in Clarion Communications as it embarks on a concerted effort to 'bring back the love'.

The hire coincides with the appointment of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White as an ambassador for the brand, which has been hit by a splurge of negative headlines in recent years.

Part of Clarion's remit will include a campaign, aimed at driving generic consumption of turkey and raising awareness of the Bernard Matthews Farms company.

The consumer and trade PR account, believed to be worth six figures, was previously retained by DSA.

The work will include a targeted ambassador programme, news generation, trial and stunts. Clarion will also act as the Bernard Matthews press office.

Clarion board director Shelley Wyatt said: 'Bernard Matthews is a great British brand with strong heritage. Our campaign will help bring back the love to this iconic brand, while doing a bigger job to drive generic awareness and sales of turkey all year round.'

Bernard Matthews will be looking to distance itself from recent negative press. Since 2004, TV chef Jamie Oliver has singled out the firm's Turkey Twizzlers for criticism. Also, an outbreak of bird flu was discovered on its farm in Holton, Surrey, in January 2008.

The firm was rebranded in July 2008 to Bernard Matthews Farms and stated that all turkey products would be made with British turkey from its own farms.

It was announced last week that Pierre White had joined forces with Bernard Matthews Farms to raise the profile of the Norfolk-based company and to champion turkey as a versatile meat.

Through a wide range of activities, the chef will encourage people to move away from the 'turkey is just for Christmas' psyche and aim to inspire consumers to cook with turkey all year round.

He will also be developing a new range of products.

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