Can Heinz recapture its glory days with new agency?

Heinz has announced that it’s looking for an agency for its “local and European Heinz-branded products.” The interesting thing will be to see who wants the business.

AMV BBDO doesn’t seem to want it any more, having fallen out with Heinz over procurement issues, presumably including waiting more than three months to be paid. But hope springs eternal in ad agencies and some quite famous ones will probably turn up in the hope that they can persuade Heinz to change its ways.

Just as telling is that, even though AMV has handled the account since 2007, it’s hard to recall any Heinz advertising of note, indeed any Heinz advertising.

Here’s one from 2013.

Nothing wrong with it and maybe I don’t watch the programmes it appeared in. But the days when Heinz (and similar aristos of the food biz like Cadbury) used to dominate the airwaves are long gone. In part this is surely because they have to bung so much money at voracious supermarkets to be listed that there isn’t enough left for heavyweight advertising on the old scale.

Here’s one from the US you might enjoy.

This, from the UK, is rather more typical.

Rather good too.

Anyway, Heinz has now merged with Kraft Foods under the control of Brazil’s 3G Capital and US investor Warren Buffett, whose companies’ practices sometimes belie his avuncular Cherry Coke sippin’ persona. Kraft is struggling with weak sales and has cut its agencies and budget to conserve cash. The Heinz bit (assuming they’re kept separate for marketing purposes) isn’t likely to be any more munificent although Buffett, as a long-time major investor in Coca-Cola, knows the power of advertising well enough.

The merged company is ranked by some as the third biggest food company in the world so there must be some money there.

It’s pretty certain that pitch doctor Haystack’s RFI will have done to adam&eveDDB among others. Unilever could be a conflict issue. If it isn’t the rest may as well stay at home as A&E is unstoppable at the moment.

Earlier this year A&E won Aviva from Omnicom sibling AMV. If it wins Heinz as well that might call for tin hats at the next Omnicom pow-wow.

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