Mr Kipling picks sales promotion agency Toast Marketing

LONDON - RHM Foods has hired Toast Marketing to handle the sales promotion business for its struggling Mr Kipling brand.

The appointment is an attempt to resuscitate sales of the cakes brand, which reported a 12% sales decline for the six months to the end of October 2005. The company blamed the fall on cash-strapped consumers.

Toast has been briefed to develop a sales promotion strategy for Mr Kipling, with a two-month campaign set to begin in mid-March. The activity is likely to include point-of-sale work and on-pack promotions.

The agency won the business following a four-way pitch against Joshua, The Marketing Store and Crossing O'Sullivan.

RHM Foods is already reviewing Mr Kipling's £3m ad account (Marketing, 18 January). WCRS is the incumbent on the business, having won it from Saatchi & Saatchi two years ago, and was responsible for handling a £5m relaunch of the brand in January 2005.

Saatchi & Saatchi lost the account after it created a controversial TV ad depicting a woman giving birth during a nativity play. The Independent Television Commission received 570 complaints about the execution, leading RHM to take it off-air.

Mr Kipling's media account, held by Universal McCann, is not affected by the review.

'Mr Kipling is held in high esteem by consumers and we are looking forward to using this positive recognition as a platform on which to build a different approach to promotional campaigns,' said David Barclay, associate director at Toast.

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