Ribena begins the search for a new advertising agency


Ribena is looking for a new advertising agency as it seeks to continue its sustainability efforts.

The drinks brand, owned by Suntory Beverage and Food, has launched a formal process for its offline account in the UK and Ireland.

The company was previously owned by Wunderman Thompson, who recently resigned from the account.

“After careful consideration, we have decided that the time has come to review our agency approach and I can confirm that a formal pitch process for our Ribena account in GB&I has begun. We will be looking to appoint a new agency from our shortlist by the end of the year,” said Hannah Norbury, Marketing Director of Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I.

Over the past 12 months, the brand has launched Ribena Sparkling, swapped its plastic straws for paper straws and created a new bottle for bottle-to-bottle recycling.

“All of this creates a really exciting time in our business and the pitch will focus on appointing the right agency to deliver Ribena’s fine-tuned focus and positioning,” added Norbury.

“We can’t say too much at this stage, but we’re excited about what’s to come and can say that the winning agency will need to have a passion for sustainability, highly creative thinking and an agile team that will help us to bring growth.”

A new agency will also have to help the brand navigate impending government advertising restrictions on foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar. These do not include any advertising of these products on television before 9 p.m. or at any time online.

Norbury added: “We wish Wunderman Thompson, who has celebrated Britain’s Blackcurrant alongside us for seven brilliant years, the best of luck for the future.”

J Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson) first won the account in 2015, after a pitch against Mother, VCCP and Gray London. Ribena previously used M&C Saatchi.

Ribena launched a £6.2million campaign in 2019, in which it claimed to reposition itself as a craft product. The TV spot centered on a ‘blackcurrant artist’ reflecting on the dedicated approach he takes to his work – “Blackcurrants are my paint; the field, my canvas” – before he snapped out of his reverie by a supervisor. It ends with the slogan: “The art of blackcurrant since 1938”.

Suntory is working with Adam & Eve/DDB on its Lucozade brand, an account the agency won in October 2019.


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