ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: pounds 3m in the can for Leo Burnett

John West Foods, the canned fish business that Heinz bought from Unilever in June, has hired Leo Burnett to develop a brand-building ad campaign.

John West Foods, the canned fish business that Heinz bought from

Unilever in June, has hired Leo Burnett to develop a brand-building ad


Leo Burnett fought off Heinz’s lead agency, Bates Dorland, for the

business, thought to be worth pounds 3m. Incumbent Bartle Bogle Hegarty

declined to re-pitch for its dormant account.

Leo Burnett’s French sister agency, Bordelais Lemeunier, already handles

Heinz’s Petit Navire fish brand. However, the new brief will focus

solely on the UK market.

It will be the first above-the-line promotion the brand has received

since 1991. Heinz’s UK seafood director, Ian Meadows, admitted that the

brand had ’not received the level of marketing support it deserved’.

John West dominates the canned fish and seafood category, holding almost

a third of the market. Heinz bought the company for around pounds 40m as

part of Project Millennia, its long-term reorganisation and growth plan.

While Heinz is known for manufacturing canned foods, its presence in the

canned fish and seafood category has traditionally been weak.

Meanwhile, Heinz has handed Bates Dorland the pounds 4m advertising

account for its frozen and chilled division, which was resigned by Euro

RSCG Wnek Gosper in May. The agency already holds around pounds 17m of

Heinz business, including its grocery division and the ’A toast to life’

corporate ad campaign.


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