Pitch Update: KFC sits down for a fateful three-piece meal

KFC pitch: will Havas, MRM or Rapp have the right secret blend of credentials? (Photo: Mr.mansuang Suttakarn / EyeEm / Getty)
KFC pitch: will Havas, MRM or Rapp have the right secret blend of credentials? (Photo: Mr.mansuang Suttakarn / EyeEm / Getty)

Yopa has appointed both media and creative agencies.


KFC is holding the final pitches in its CRM review this week, with Havas, MRM and Rapp still in contention. The fast food chain is seeking the successor to its current partner, Iris, which did not participate in the process handled by AAR.

At least five global agency groups are set to line up to contest Unilever’s international media-buying review after the consumer goods giant formally kicked off the contest. It is thought the process is still at an early stage. Unilever is said to have issued invitations to a wide number of agency groups but there is no detail on how the company plans to run the process or shortlist them. WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic are incumbents on the media account for Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, which spent 7.1bn euros (£6.1bn) on brand marketing investment last year. Industry observers suggested that Dentsu and Publicis Groupe are also looking at pitching for Unilever in some regions of the world.


Facebook has put its global media account up for review. The account is worth $750m (£544m), according to Comvergence. The pitch is being managed by ID Comms, according to sources close to the pitch. Mindshare and Dentsu are the incumbents and are participating in the pitch, which includes media planning and buying across Facebook’s entire business — Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger.

Confectionery giant Ferrero has called its second major media planning and buying review within three years. In late 2019 it moved much of its media buying and planning, then estimated to be worth as much as $950m globally, from PHD to Mindshare, including the key US portion. A 2020 review in the UK led to Starcom being appointed after a protracted process. That year, Starcom also won the business in China from Dentsu agency Carat.


Lloyds Banking Group has become the latest major advertiser to set up an in-house creative agency as it seeks to make “considerable” savings, move faster and create “more empathetic” customer communications. The agency, which is called Beehive and launched quietly in January, will work alongside LBG’s existing roster of agencies, which include Adam & Eve/DDB and New Commercial Arts. LBG's customer engagement agency Havas CX Helia will lose some work to Beehive but will still handle "strategic CRM". Helia Beehive has about 30 staff and will work across LBG’s brands, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows.


Estate agents Yopa has appointed M.i. Media as its performance advertising agency and Happy Hour as its creative agency after a double competitive pitch. The last agencies the brand worked with were Mother on creative and Manning Gottlieb OMD on media in 2019. 

Pip Heywood, chief marketing officer at Yopa, said: “We’ve made many learnings from our past campaigns and have a very different approach to how we’re prepared to flight media and what type of creative we need as a result. This insight, combined with the customer empathy and media acuity both agencies are bringing to bear, means we’re fighting fit to spur on Yopa’s next stage of growth.”

Ladbrokes has commissioned Neverland to create an advertising campaign around the rescheduled Euro 2020 football tournament. Ladbrokes Coral Group hired BBH to the ad account for both its eponymous brands in October 2019. The Publicis Groupe shop will continue to be the retained agency on the Coral brand, but Ladbrokes is now planning to hire shops for specific briefs – though it may appoint a long-term partner following a period of transition.

McCann London has been appointed by Plan International – the independent development and humanitarian organisation to advance children’s rights and equality for girls around the world – to define and deliver a new global brand strategy and launch program, following a competitive pitch. McCann will work with fellow IPG agencies Weber Shandwick and MRM. There was no direct incumbent though Plan International has previously worked with Mr President and AMV BBDO. 

After a five-way competitive pitch, sports retailer Decathlon has appointed Forever Beta as its lead strategic and creative agency. The agency will launch the new positioning to the UK market with a TTL creative campaign. There was no incumbent; the brand has previously created work in-house and worked directly with production studios. 

BBD Perfect Storm has been appointed by current affairs magazine Prospect to help it with its brand positioning and awareness. The title is looking to capitalise on the uplift in consumer interest in current affairs and social issues. The appointment follows a three-way competitive process.

Consumer electronics company Casio has appointed Journey Further to handle its performance marketing activity, including PPC advertising and SEO, after a competitive pitch. There was no incumbent.

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