Lucky Generals and MullenLowe compete for troubled Fever-Tree

Interesting, and reassuring in a way, that upscale drinks company Fever-Tree (best known for its posh tonic water) is turning to two creative agencies to try to get itself back on the growth road. Lucky Generals and MullenLowe are pitching for the creative business.

Fever-Tree is a spectacular success story, riding the wave of designer gins to reach a dizzying market cap of nearly £1.9bn even after two profit warnings and a 24 per cent share price fall. In 2018 it made a more than healthy £76m on sales of just £270m but, even so, a market cap likes that means that lots of people are betting on further exponential growth, in the US particularly.

That is proving more difficult than Fever-Tree hoped; the big global drinks companies have belatedly woken up to the threat and are busily producing their own lookalike, drier products.

On the pitch, Fever-Tree says the creative review was in train before the profit warning. But it looks a sensible one with just two capable agencies, both known for their planning capabilities with Andy Nairn at Lucky Generals and Laurence Green at MullenLowe. Either would no doubt do a good job but it’s hardly the easiest task on earth.

This is an updated version of an earlier story.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.