Arla retains CHI for £7m Anchor in roster review

Arla Foods has retained Clemmow Hornby Inge (CHI) to handle its £7m Anchor butter business, following a pitch against DDB and Wieden & Kennedy.

DDB is still pitching against Wieden & Kennedy for Arla's Lurpak account, which DDB has held since 1993. Both agencies have been asked to come up with more work.

Some believe that Arla is seeking to consolidate its accounts, which could mean moving the Cravendale business. It is understood that the Cravendale brand was not part of the pitch process.

The review is part of a roster agency shake-up by the Danish food giant that kicked off at the end of last year. This followed the exit of head of marketing Hanne Sondergaard after the dairy group named Simon Stevens as its top UK marketer in a reshuffle (Marketing, 16 November 2005).

CHI originally won the Anchor account from WCRS in March 2003 and was given the task of raising the profile of the brand in a market that is dominated by healthy alternatives, including Flora and St Ivel Gold.

Cravendale, which DDB picked up in 1998, expanded its range in January to include a line of single-serve flavoured milk drinks (Marketing, 11 January).

The appointment comes at a difficult time for Arla.

It has issued three profit warnings in the past 10 months and has continued to be hit hard by a boycott of its products in the Middle East, after publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers.

In Saudi Arabia, where Arla sells two-thirds of its products, turnover is at 10%-15% of pre-boycott levels.

All of the agencies involved refused to comment on the pitch.

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