Design buying at RHM under review

RHM, one of Britain’s largest food companies, is reviewing the way it procures design and other marketing services, in a move that could lead to the creation of a formal design roster.

The company owns brands such as Hovis, Mr Kipling and Lyons cakes and has annual sales of approximately £1.8bn.

Rosie Doggett, who is acting as a procurement manager for the group’s marketing and media services on an interim basis, confirms that RHM is considering ways to ‘formalise’ its selection of consultancies. ‘It is something we are looking at, but things move very slowly,’ she says, declining to reveal further details.

It is understood that this assessment process has been underway for at least 18 months, during which RHM has held consultancy presentations.

One of the difficulties is thought to be the size of RHM’s portfolio, which yields too much work for smaller groups to handle. The company has a selection of consultancies that it prefers to work with, but has yet to organise this formally. A single roster or a number of rosters covering different product sectors are possible strategies.

Brandhouse WTS, Coley Porter Bell, Turner Duckworth, Millini and Vibrandt have all worked on packaging designs for RHM or one of its subsidiaries over the last few years. Turner Duckworth’s designs for the latest Mr Kipling packaging roll out this week (see News, page 4).

Williams Murray Hamm created award-winning packs for Hovis (pictured left), but ‘resigned’ the account in July 2003 due to differing opinions over the brand’s future (DW 24 July 2003).

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