JWT banks its Jeremy Carr dividend as Premier Foods switches from Dare and 101

What a difference an in-demand creative makes.

Jeremy Carr (pictured), who joined JWT as a creative director last summer from Dare, has produced the goods for his new agency with the award of Premier Foods’ Hovis, Oxo and Ambrosia from Dare plus Mr Kipling, four of its eight new so-called ‘Power Brands.’

Carr-less Dare loses out as does Fallon breakway 101 which (briefly) handled Mr Kipling. At Dare Carr worked on Waitrose as well as Premier Foods and was obviously seen as pretty crucial to that account too. The upmarket grocer briefly moved to Mark Lund’s new agency Now when it looked as though Carr and partner Ken Hoggins were on their way there (Hoggins has worked on Waitrose for even longer than Carr) only to change its mind and flip to BBH when Carr announced he was joining JWT. Hoggins, surprise, surprise, joined BBH.

Carr, an art director turned copywriter, worked at BMP (now DDB), Lowe, BBH and AMV/BBDO before joining new agency MCBD (bear with me) which merged with Dare, formerly a digital agency, last January. Both were owned by Quebec-based Cossette. Since then the Dare-ites seem to have emerged on top, although that doesn’t seem to have gone down very well with a number of key clients who valued AMV breakaway MCBD’s traditional craft skills.

So it’s a bad one for Dare and also for 101 (although not bad at all for McCann Erickson which wins Batchelors and Loyd Grossman from Dare and keeps Bisto and Sharwoods, Premier’s other four PBs).

101 seemed set for a long relationship (external circumstances allowing) with Premier when it won Mr Kipling. 101 partner Phil Rumbol, a former marketing director at Cadbury, knew Premier’s CEO Michael Clarke from the brief period when they co-incided at Kraft after Kraft took over Cadbury.

But according to Premier’s new managing director Iwan Williams: “As we reviewed our future plans, we decided to focus on a smaller number of agencies that have the breadth, scale and resources to manage our Power Brand portfolio.” Premier says former group marketing director Jon Goldstone, who left the company a few weeks ago, was involved in selecting the new agency roster – which seems rather unlikely as he presumably chose the last one, including 101. The message seems to be that Dare and 101 were deemed to be too small.

CEO Clarke has announced he wants to spend £50m on his PBs this year, which is bold in the extreme as the company has just announced a loss of £259m after writing off £282m of the value of its bread division, chiefly Hovis. It bought RHM Foods for a decidedly toppy £1bn plus a few years ago in the pre-Clarke era. However Clarke has secured a deal with his bankers to pay back the money in 2016 rather than next year.

So advertising is pretty crucial to Premier over the next three years or so. Not much responsibility for Carr and JWT there then.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.