5 Vie For Heinz Account

Shops On and Off Roster Seek Ketchup Duties
NEW YORK–H.J. Heinz is wrapping up a review of five contenders for all duties on the estimated $150-200 million consolidated global advertising account of its flagship ketchup brand, sources said.
Bates Worldwide in New York and DDB Needham, Euro RSCG Tatham, and Leo Burnett, all in Chicago, along with TBWA Worldwide in London, made presentations to the client in Pittsburgh last week. Agencies have been drawing personnel and resources from their global networks to pitch the business. A decision is expected shortly, according to sources.
The client declined comment; the agencies would not comment or did not return calls.
Bates Dorland in London has handled the ketchup brand in the U.K. for several years, while the Euro RSCG network consolidated the remaining European business in February.
DDB handles the U.S. account, where the client spent just over $1 million on advertising last year, per Competitive Media Reporting.
Burnett, which resigned its Heinz USA business–including Star-Kist and 9-Lives in 1994–continues to work for Heinz in Latin America and Europe.
TBWA is the only nonroster shop involved in the review.
This review follows Heinz’ return to TV ads in the U.S., including a spot that aired on this year’s Super Bowl, after nearly a five-year hiatus. During that period, Heinz shifted most of its media dollars to trade promotions and saw its market share slip from more than 50 percent to 47 percent.
Heinz has since rebounded, with sales of $248.7 million and a 54 percent share for the year ended July 17, per Information Resources. Its closest competitor, Hunt’s, had sales of $88.4 million and a 19 percent share.
The consolidation also comes amid speculation that Heinz, with new chief executive William Johnson, is considering a broader consolidation of ad duties, including its other food and pet food brands such as Ore-Ida potatoes and Gravy Train.
–with staff report