Bega appoints Thinkerbell to run media and creative accounts

Consumer foods group Bega has consolidated its media and creative accounts with Thinkerbell, in a move that could herald major changes for Australia’s advertising industry.

The shifting of the media account finishes a ten year relationship with Carat and follows Bega dropping JWT earlier this year, ending the agency’s 74 year association with the Vegemite brand.

Thinkerbell’s Margie Reid said said the Bega win signals an industry change

Bega acquired the Vegemite brand at the beginning of 2017 after acquiring Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business. Thinkerbell’s remit will also inclcude Bega Peanut Butter, Picky Picky, Farmer’s Table, and ZoOsh.

The shift to an integrated media and creative account by Bega could herald a return to the industry model that existed before the 1980s where media buying was largely carried out by creative agencies who took a commission for placing advertising.

During the 1980s and 1990s media buying was spun off into stand alone agencies, which gave rise to a $2bn industry locally. Bega’s move could see those functions returning to the creative agencies.

Bega marketing director, Ben Hill acknowledged this in announcing the deal saying: “For us, it makes sense to have all our creative and media thinking under the one roof. We believe creative, strategy and media planning should work cohesively and be seamlessly integrated.

“It makes sense to have one partner and the results we have been achieving with Thinkerbell this year give us full confidence we have made the right decision.”

Thinkerbell’s managing partner, Margie Reid, said the Bega win signals an industry change: “Working with Bega has been brilliant. Strategically and creatively we’ve clicked and we’re looking forward to extending the relationship into media planning and buying.

“We’re honoured to be working with Bega Foods to continue building their powerful and much-loved Australian brands.”

In an interview with Reid last year, the former OMD boss flagged the agency would consider moving into media buying and in October won the Melbourne Racing Club’s buying account from Vizeum.

Bega’s brand communications and PR will continue to be managed by J&CO Strategic.


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