Tea leaves settle nicely for Whybin\TBWA

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  • June 12, 2013
  • Ben Fahy
Tea leaves settle nicely for Whybin\TBWA

It missed out on the big Foodstuffs account recently, but the new executive team at Whybin\TBWA has chalked up a welcome win after being appointed as the new creative and strategic agency for the Bell Tea & Coffee Company's (BTCC) stable of tea brands. 

Whybin\TBWA New Zealand will be responsible for the whole of the Bell branded tea portfolio, which includes Bell Original as well as Kenya Bold, Finest Ceylon, and Zesty Green. It's thought Work has had the Bell Tea account for six or seven years

"Following an extensive search process we are delighted to form a partnership with Whybin\TBWA NZ as our integrated communications agency," says Michaela Dumper, marketing director for Bell Tea & Coffee Company, in a release. "Their strong thinking, brilliant teamwork and creativity really stood out. We are excited about working with them on our plans.”

Todd McLeay, chief executive of Whybin\TBWA, was unable to be contacted, but said in a release: "Bell Tea is an iconic Kiwi brand that has been a part of our natural heritage for over a hundred years. We are very excited and honoured to be able to continue that story."  

Foodstuffs has owned BTCC for around 50 years. It also operates brands such as Twinings, Burton's, La Cimbali and Gravity, has an annual turnover of $60 million and, according to Eurominitor, controlled 45 percent of the retail tea trade in 2011. But Foodstuffs announced a few months back that PwC was helping it look at sale options, with Foodstuffs' chief executive Steve Anderson ​saying he believed the company had a brighter future with a new owner. 

He told the Herald: "It is hard to sell [Bell products] into our retail competitors ... it's a natural result of the ownership."

Special Group holds the Gravity Coffee account, with a pack redesign and the Gravity Coffee Run campaign being recent highlights. Managing director Michael Redwood confirmed it has retained this account as the pitch was just for the tea brands. 

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