Cadbury consolidates U.K. confectionery firm account

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LONDON -- Trebor Bassett, the U.K.-based Cadbury Schweppes-owned sugar confectionery company, has consolidated its U.K. creative account into London agency WCRS and pledged to boost its budget for 1997 by a third.

Leagas Shafron Davis London lost major brands Bassett's Jelly Babies and Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts to fellow roster agency WCRS, which has steadily added to its TB business since winning the pitch for the Fruitang new brand launch two and a half years ago.

TB Marketing Director Bruce Burnett says the decision to pool advertising with WCRS was based on the company's "strong relationship" with the agency. Media is unaffected and remains at Motive London.

Working to a budget of at least $8m, WCRS will now handle the Fruitang, Trebor Extra Strong Mints, Soft Mints, Maynard's Wine Gums, Bassett's Jelly Babies and Allsorts brands, plus two new products in development and the newly acquired Butterkist popcorn brand. TB bought Butterkist owner and own-label confectionery producer Craven Keiller last year.

TB brands operate in a relatively low margin market where private label penetration is high and where they are also up against the heavy media spend of major rival Nestle's Rowntree. But, says TB Board Account Director at WCRS Paul Lawson: "This year there is a genuine commitment from the business to do this thing properly. They want to demonstrate that they can make something out of these brands they've got. They are big and famous and it's an injustice if they are not exploited properly."

Existing advertising equities of Jelly Babies and Allsorts - animated characters and Allsorts people, such as Bertie Bassett, whose heads are made from sweets - will be retained in the new WCRS work.

New for this year are likely to be at least one product launch that is ready to roll and development of the Butterkist brand from a sugar popcorn, eaten mainly in cinemas, to a more general snack.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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