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Pitch Watch: BMF loses XXXX; Specsavers calls media pitch; Levis seeks a first local agency in a decade; Subaru appoints new digital partner

In this wrap up: XXXX (creative appointment); Specsavers (new media pitch); Subaru (digital appointment); Palmolive (PR appointment); Cotton On Group (PR appointment); The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation (PR appointment), WWF-Australia (PR appointment), Riversdale Group (PR appointment).

XXXX Gold BMFMumbrella casts an eye over the major media, creative and public relations pitches at play in market.

In this wrap up: XXXX (creative appointment); Specsavers (new media pitch); Subaru (digital appointment); Levi-Struss (new creative pitch); Palmolive (PR appointment); Cotton On Group (PR appointment); The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation (PR appointment),  WWF-Australia (PR appointment), Riversdale Group (PR appointment).

BMF loses foundation client as Lion moves XXXX creative duties

BMF’s illustrious 18 year relationship with XXXX is at an end with drinks manufacturer Lion moving creative duties for its flagship XXXX Gold brand to Host and the XXXX Summer Bright Lager to Ogilvy.

The move by Lion consolidates another brand with Host which already handles Tooheys, Kirin, Little Creatures and White Rabbit.

The win hands Host Australia’s biggest selling beer brand by volume and is likely to signal an end XXXX Gold’s long running strategy based around mates relaxing in remote locations.

As part of the creative review, Ogilvy, which looks after the Hahn brand for the brewer, will handle the Summer Bright Lager brand.

Gold was one of BMF’s foundation clients.

Lion marketing director Ben Slocombe said moving XXXX had been a tough decision given the history of the brand with the agency.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly,” Slocombe said.

“We have the utmost respect and sincere thanks to the team at BMF who have worked on XXXX for the past 18 years and delivered brilliant work that has helped grow XXXX from #7 to #1. BMF continues to be a significant creative partner working on other brands in Lion’s portfolio.”

He said it was time for a refresh for Gold and a new approach for Summer Bright.

“During the pitch process Host presented fresh strategy work and demonstrated some terrific creative platforms to really take XXXX GOLD into the future,” he said.

“Ogilvy, with their youth credentials are poised to deliver some fantastic work on XXXX Summer Bright Lager.”

BMF had created some of Lion’s most popular ads. Along with the ads that centred on mates taking the piss out of each other and improvising solutions such as replacing a frypan with a wheelbarrow to cook a barra.

BMF was also behind the launch of XXXX Gold’s summer beach cricket series.

The Aussie blokes campaign became a mainstay of the brand, with the theme running for more than five years.

The original beach dwelling received company in later ads when a group of besuited city slickers were shipwrecked on their Island.

Advertising for the brand has also been heavily promotions driven with desert island holidays and overseas sporting trips supporting the mainstream marketing.

BMF was also behind the launch of the now-defunct Tap King brand, bringing Lionel Richie to star in the ad with his hit song Hello.

The agency has been slowly losing its grip on Lion business but continues to work with its Five Seeds cider brand which launched a new ad shot in Kiev this a week, as swell as James Squire and the platform campaign of Beer the Beautiful Truth.

Perhaps BMF’s most lauded work for Lion was the Toohey’s Extra Dry Tongue ad more than a decade ago which helped to cement BMF’s relationship with the drinks company.

Specsavers logoSpecsavers pitches media putting Mediacom Melbourne on alert

Mediacom Melbourne is set to defend another of its clients with Specsavers pitching its media account in the market.

The account last went out to pitch in 2013 in what many agencies at the time felt was more of a tyre kicking exercise from the client, which eventually opted to stick with Mediacom.

However the circa $18m in main media spend will make it attractive pickings for many agencies in the market.

In a statement Mediacom said: “Mediacom are participating in a statutory review in line with Specsavers review periods.  In the mean time, we will continue our partnership in delivering great work.”

Mediacom in Melbourne is still sweating on the outcome of the media tender from one of its biggest clients, Energy Australia, which called a media pitch in February. 

Meanwhile speculation continues to swirl over the CUB account with the company acquired by global giant AB Inbev at the end of last year as part of a global deal.

Levis looks for first Aussie agency in over a decade

LevisLevis Strauss Australia has launched a search for a creative agency to handle a locally produced campaign for Australia and New Zealand for the first time on over a decade.

The fashion brand has not got a local agency on retainer and has relied on global work coming out of San Francisco to market in Australia and New Zealand.

Nicky Rowsell, marketing manager for Levis Strauss in Australia, said the company was no in discussions with a number of agencies with a view to the antipodean flavoured work coming to market in 2017.

“For the last eight or more years all of our creative has come out of San Francisco,” Rowsell told Mumbrella.

“This is the first we have promoted the brand in Australia and New Zealand with a local message.”

It is understood at least three creative agencies are already in discussions with Levis and the review is expected to run for several more weeks.

SubaruHost to drive digital and content for Subaru

Subaru has appointed Host as its digital and content partner with the agency tasked with an overhaul of the brand’s website, planned to roll out later this year.

Amanda Leaney, national marketing manager, Subaru said in a statement: “Host has excellent digital credentials and a strong track record in delivering exciting work in this space. We’re delighted to welcome them to our extended team.”

Laura Aldington, managing director at Host, said in a statement: “It’s a huge year for Subaru and we couldn’t happier to be on board.”

The brand’s existing agency relationships remain unchanged by this appointment.

Palmolive_logo.svgPalmolive partners with Dec PR

Personal-care brand Palmolive has appointed Dec PR as its strategic communications partner for a new premium line of products following a competitive pitch.

The agency will lead the digital and print focused communications for the Australia and New Zealand launch.

Ashleigh Wright, brand manager Colgate-Palmolive said in a statement: “We’re delighted to partner with DEC PR and pursue a fully integrated, omni-channel campaign that heralds the Palmolive brand’s debut into an exciting new category with the launch of a new premium product range.”

Agata Kenna, managing director Dec PR, said in a statement: “We’re incredibly excited to be working with Palmolive to unveil this innovative new range through a high-impact creative campaign that challenges the established conventions in beauty PR.”

Dec PR commences work immediately.

cotton on groupWE Buchan wins Cotton On Group

Communications agency WE Buchan has been appointed as the strategic communications partner of Cotton On Group following a competitive five-way pitch.

The agency has been appointed to develop a global corporate affairs program.

Greer McCracken, senior communications manager at Cotton On Group, said in a statement: “We were impressed with WE Buchan’s energetic team and willingness to go the extra mile. It was clear through their insights, ideas presented and strategic thinking that they understood our unique business challenges and both proactively and creatively sought to find solutions.”

The program will see WE Buchan work with Cotton On Group to take their story global, starting with ANZ but also working with its global partner, WE Communications, to implement activity in local markets from a central Australian hub.

WE Buchan GM Gemma Hudson said: “We are thrilled to be working with Australian success story, Cotton On Group and particularly at such a critical time in their global expansion. We look forward to helping the business achieve its vision ofbecoming the dominant value fashion brand on the global stage.”

The account will be serviced by a team across Buchan’s Sydney and Melbourne offices.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.54.07 amStellar Concepts adds not-for-profit organisations to portfolio

Lifestyle PR agency Stellar Concepts has added two not-for-profit organisations to its client portfolio: The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation and WWF-Australia.

Stellar will be working with The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation on its 150 years celebration, with the agency tasked to highlight the important role the hospital plays in childbirth, pregnancy, fertility and general women’s health with support of high profile ambassadors such as Miranda Kerr, patients’ stories and major medical advances.

Stellar general manager Hayley Cole said in a statement: “As a mother myself and working in a team of predominately female staff, I am particularly passionate about the leading work they do with mothers and newborn babies through care, teaching and research.”

For the third year Stellar Concepts will support WWF-Australia’s annual fundraising initiative ‘Wild Onesie Week’. The 2016 campaign calls on Aussies to take a walk on the wild side, donning an animal onesie while going about their daily business and raising funds for WWF-Australia’s vital conservation work.

On working with WWF, Cole said: “This year’s official onesie will see the Stellar team hit the streets as a bale of green turtles. Found mainly in tropical and subtropical waters, green turtles are threatened by overharvesting of their eggs, runoff of sediments and chemical pollution from the mainland, being caught in fishing gear and loss of nesting beach sites, and we are committed to do our bit to help save these beautiful creatures.”

The agency has also been appointed by Riversdale Group to launch Moore Park Produce Market, a new produce focused market intent on showcasing fresh, seasonal produce and handmade food sourced directly from NSW and ACT farmers.

The new market will open at the Entertainment Quarter at Fox Studios on Wednesday May 25, with top chef Matt Kemp enlisted as market curator.

Cole said: “This market is exactly what the eastern suburbs is yearning for. In a prime location with excellent facilities and a new focus on premium produce, integrity and sustainability, we look forward to working with the team at Riversdale on sharing the many great stories of the artisan food producers coming on board.”

Simon Canning, Miranda Ward, Nic Christensen and Alex Hayes

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