CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The mega-deal proposed last week when Kraft made a brash $16.8 billion bid for Cadbury stands both to change the confectionery world order and create a $2.7 billion advertiser. In the U.S., Ad Age estimates that the combination would spend about $1.5 billion in marketing.
|A NEW CANDY EMPIRE? Where and how much Kraft and Cadbury spend their ad dollars.|
Related Story:Does Kraft's PR Play for Cadbury Remind You of Something?
Group Behind Marketer's Aggressive Push Also Orchestrated InBev's A-B Takeover
It would also crown a new chocolate king. Kraft would have 15.2% of that category, ahead of Mars' 14.6%. But even buying Cadbury wouldn't catapult Kraft into gum-sector leadership. Cadbury makes Trident, Dentyne and Stride, and a combined company would take about 28.9% of global gum sales. Mars, which now owns Wrigley, held 35.4% of the market in 2008.
Of course, Cadbury has yet to agree to the deal, and rival bids are expected. But here's a look at what selected brands in a combined Kraft/Cadbury could look like.
Four PR lessons to mind if you are launching a takeover bid1. MAKE THE DEAL SEEM LIKE A LOGICAL NEXT STEP. While companies obviously can't tell reporters and analysts they are plotting a bid, they can lay out the rationale for such a deal in the months leading up to it. On conference calls with analysts, Kraft, for instance, has talked about why international confectionary acquisitions made sense for it for more than a year.
2. USE DIGITAL. Microsites dedicated to a takeover bid are an effective way of getting an unfiltered message out via online video and fact sheets. While social media hasn't yet factored heavily into the equation, investor-relations pros say it's just a matter of time until Twitter becomes a vital channel as well.
3. CAFFEINATE YOUR PR. As takeover plays quickly devolve into wars of words, winning them requires boosting response time when reporters and analysts come calling, making top executives available whenever possible. Everyone in your C-suite ought to be armed with talking points on every conceivable angle.
4. DON'T NEGLECT INSIDERS. Internal panic -- and the leaking it inevitably spawns -- will inevitably find its way out of your headquarters and into press coverage. Develop webcasts and memos specifically for your employees, not only to keep them informed but also to shoot down false rumors.