JWT Melbourne wins John West creative as Simplot consolidates roster

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 14 November 2017

J Walter Thompson Melbourne has added John West to its roster of Simplot brands, following a competitive pitch.

The move sees Simplot consolidate its roster and JWT Melbourne become the lead agency across Simplot’s entire brand portfolio including Leggo’s, Birds Eye, Lean Cuisine, I&J and Chicken Tonight.

John West previously worked with Cummins&Partners Melbourne, appointed to the account in 2016. Following the win of Kraft Heinz, which owns Greenseas Tuna, John West became a conflict for Cummins&Partners.

JWT Melbourne picked up the Simplot account in August last year. The move saw BWM pull the plug on an eight-year relationship with Simplot.

Speaking about the decision to reduce its roster to one lead creative agency, Simplot GM of marketing Suzanne Harman says the shift recognises the fabulous work from JWT Melbourne.

“JWT has consistently impressed us with their strategic contribution, the quality of their creative and the depth of their team’s engagement across all aspects of our business,” she says.

JWT’s remit across all Simplot brands, including John West, includes creative, brand strategy, shopper and social.

"“We’re very thankful to be given the opportunity to work on John West and help reinvigorate the brand’s reputation for outstanding, iconic campaigns. It’s a big responsibility, but a challenge we can’t wait to get started on," JWT Melbourne MD Michael Godwin says.

Cummins&Partners was the agency behind the John West’s ‘Finnish Tuna’ stunt in 2016, which was an effort to promote the dangers of unsustainable fishing.

The stunt saw John West launch a fake tuna brand called ‘Finnish Tuna’ in an effort to dramatise the possibility of a world without fish thanks to unsustainable fishing methods.

The agency also lauched a social campaign featuring an unlikely celebrity chef – the brand’s much-loved mascot, Kodiak bear.

"We have enjoyed great success and thoroughly enjoyed working with John West over the last few years. However, our recent wins across McCain Foods, Kraft Heinz and Golden Circle have opened up many categories where there is competition with Simplot and we have worked closely with Suzanne and the team to address this. We wish them all the best in the future," Cummins&Partners CEO Chris Jeffares says.

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