David Blecken
Sep 11, 2009

Danone reviews Evian creative in Japan

TOKYO - Danone is understood to be reviewing the creative account for its Evian mineral water brand in Japan, which is globally aligned with Euro RSCG, but handled by Ogilvy & Mather in that market.

Danone reviews Evian creative in Japan
It is not known at this stage which agencies are competing for the business. A source who wished to remain anonymous indicated that the French food company’s decision to review was due in part to a “conflict of interests” within the incumbent agency. Ogilvy also handles Glacéau’s vitaminwater energy drink range.

The source said that while it was common for large domestic agencies to work on a range of competing brands, the current situation was unusual for Danone. “Big Japanese agencies are equipped to handle conflict, and it is not usually a big issue in Japan, but for Danone it is weird,” the source said.

As of last year, Evian ranked seventh in the Japanese mineral water market, behind brands such as Suntory, Kirin, Volvic (also owned by Danone) and Crystal Geyser. According to Euromonitor, it holds three per cent of the market.

Yoshiyasu Okihira, a food and beverage sector analyst at Credit Suisse, described competition in the mineral water space as “tough”, stating that Evian was “still in the survival stage”.

Meanwhile, in July Danone called a review of its media planning and buying account in Japan, currently handled by Hakuhodo and believed to be worth an estimated US$32 million.

Campaign Asia

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