United Biscuits Hunts For PR Firm To Boost Brands
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United Biscuits Hunts For PR Firm To Boost Brands

United Biscuits is shaking up its communications approach with a wide-ranging review of its PR agency support.

Arun Sudhaman

LONDON—United Biscuits (UB) has kicked off a comprehensive agency review that aims to boost the relevance of some of its key brands.

Britain's biggest biscuit maker, which produces the McVitie's, Jacob's and Twiglets brands, is looking for agency support across corporate, consumer and crisis communications. It is understood that a number of London-based agencies have been asked to provide credentials by agency selection firm The Observatory.

The search is thought to focus on some of UB's key brands, including McVitie's, Jaffa Cakes and Mini Cheddars. In addition to consumer PR activities, it is understood that the corporate reputation component includes a focus on the company's global expansion and CSR activity.

Crisis management, said an agency source, also forms part of the brief, calling for social media expertise and issues experience.

United Biscuits head of corporate communication Bob Brightwell confirmed the review, but declined to provide further comment.

The company's brands have worked with a number of agencies in recent years, often on a project basis. McVities, for example, hired both Mischief and Brazen to handle brand activation work last year.

Last year, United Biscuits sold its KP Snacks division to Intersnack, amid speculation that its private equity owners are looking to attract a buyer for the remainder of the business. A proposed 2010 sale to China's Bright Food failed to materialise.

The $1.3bn company announced a new CEO earlier this year in former Birds Eye CEO Martin Glenn. 

Separately, United Biscuits recently shifted advertising duties for its sweet brands to Grey London from Publicis.  

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