Mondelez reviews Cadbury business – but can it recapture the glory days?

London adland – some bits of it anyway – will be all of a flutter as Mondelez International is reviewing the Cadbury chocolate account at Fallon.

Cadbury UK and Ireland has a new marketing director in Francesco Vitrano, one of whose tasks is to put some fizz and vim into Cadbury advertising which it hasn’t had since ‘Gorilla’ from the original team at Fallon back in 2007.

The current rather reduced Fallon is repitching alongside Publicis Communications big brother Saatchi & Saatchi.

Vitrano might save himself a lot of work by heading straight to independent agency 101 whose line-up includes Phil Rumbol, marketing director back in Cadbury’s pre-Mondelez glory days, and Laurence Green the planning wizard at Fallon at the time.

He won’t, of course, although 101 will surely receive a polite call. London’s finest including Mother, Wieden+Kennedy, Grey and the rest will all be inspecting their client lists to see if they can have a go. AMV BBDO and adam&eveDDB are both off limits because of Mars presumably. Winning Cadbury would put Y&R, which handled Cadbury back in the days of steam TV, back on the map.

Even this is not as straightforward as it sounds as most big clients have other areas of business they might be interested in and that can preclude agencies pitching. One such agency told me that it was prevented from pitching for a big price comparison website because it had a major supermarket as a client. Even they weren’t quite sure why.

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One reason that Cadbury advertising is nowhere near as famous as it used to be is that its budget – in particular the amount allocated to TV – ain’t what it used to be. On the telly it mostly confines itself to glorified sales promotions, such as flagging Creme Eggs when Easter has barely hove into view. Fallon can hardly be blamed for that.

Some time or other though brands that want to be famous – or be famous again – need to gamble on doing one thing supremely well rather than dispersing their efforts across all those dreaded media “touch points.” The media agency might not agree of course.

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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.
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