Pitch Update: Taco Bell on the hunt for first UK creative agency

Image Credit: Spencer Platt via Getty Images
Image Credit: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Sweet news awaits for one of four agencies pitching for Ribena.

New Business Rankings

There is no change in the creative new-business rankings this week but Goodstuff moved up one spot in the media table after picking up the £6m Decathlon account.


US giant Taco Bell has started the search for a creative agency in the UK, with the expectation to appoint one by the end of November.

A shortlist of agencies is currently being drawn up by AAR and the search is a first for Taco Bell, which has not yet worked with a local agency in the UK market.

Founded in California in 1962, the Mexican-inspired restaurant brand is part of Yum!. It currently operates 70 restaurants in the UK.

US-based creative agency Deutsch LA will remain the global agency of record and the UK agency will be expected to work in partnership with the company. 

Monica Pool, marketing director for the UK and Europe, said: “We are at an incredibly exciting point in the development of the Taco Bell brand in Europe and particularly in the UK. We are now looking to work with an agency that can help us bring our ambitions to life through their creativity and will be as passionate about the potential of the brand as we are."

Media buying and planning will continue to be done by Publicis Groupe’s Spark.

Fever-Tree is reviewing its creative account after splitting with Lucky Generals, just 18 months after the agency beat MullenLowe in a two-way pitch to win the premium mixer brand’s business – with the Omnicom agency citing “creative differences”. The review is being handled by Creativebrief.


Adam & Eve/DDB, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Creature and Karmarama are waiting to find out which of the four will emerge victorious in the review with the highest vitamin C quotient of the year: Ribena's advertising account. The quartet pitched this week, with a result potentially coming next week.


IMA Home won its first client this month, after agencies IMA and Home merged in August. Following a pitch process against two other agencies, Nails.INC, the British nail polish brand, has selected IMA HOME as its lead agency to drive sales of all product ranges. The agency takes over from incumbent agency Threepipe.

It has been a good month for Omnicom, with the holding company winning the global consolidated media, brand and performance marketing account for Mercedes-Benz. It beat incumbent and rival agency group Publicis Groupe to the business. Omnicom will take over the account in January 2022.

Omnicom Media Group, meanwhile, has won a five-year media contract to handle Channel 4’s media planning and buying. Previously controlled by OMG agency OMD, the media will now be run by an OMG cross-agency team, called Fast4WD. OMG will help Channel 4 adapt to a changing media landscape and transition into a digital-first media company aimed at young people.

Karmarama has been awarded a place on the government’s roster Campaign Solutions 2but a series of agencies selected in 2016 have lost out.

Karmarama is the only newcomer on the 12-strong Lot 1 of the roster, which covers End-to-End Campaign Solutions. The Accenture Interactive shop is joined by 11 agencies returning from last time: 23red, Adam & Eve/DDB, Engine, FCB Inferno, Four Communications, Freuds, Havas, M&C Saatchi, MullenLowe, Unlimited Group and VMLY&R.

Separately, the government is next year set to appoint a new roster for ad-hoc/tactical campaign services, Communications Marketplace, which will replace the Communications Services roster that was created in 2017.

A dozen companies on the previous roster are not on Campaign Solutions 2, though Campaign understands some of them may have chosen to tender for the Communications Marketplace roster instead.

The agencies dropping off the list are Blue State Digital, Breakthrough Media Network (now Zinc Network), Cello Signal, George & Dragon, Independent Campaign Partnership, Kindred, Lucky Generals, Mother, MSQ Partners, Ogilvy, Oliver and OMD UK.

Ogilvy may have missed out on the government roster, but the WPP agency beat a trio of incumbents to win a huge Sainsbury’s account that will cover digital creative, content, social and CRM across all of the company’s brands. Previously, these responsibilities were divided between Table19, Gravity Road and The & Partnership’s AllTogetherNow. The three agencies also pitched for the account.

Climate-change platform Ecologi has appointed Electric Glue as its first media agency. The agency was hired without a pitch process and upon a recommendation to Ecologi CEO, Ian Hambleton. Electric Glue will aim to raise the profile of Ecologi in the run-up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which is being held in Glasgow in November. 

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