McClelland's set to appoint chief marketer

McClelland's, the 154-year-old Scottish cheesemaker recently bought by French dairy company Lactalis, is on the verge of appointing a marketing director.

Lactalis appointed Andrew Smith as managing director of Glasgow-based AM McClelland last December after buying the company for an estimated &£170m.

Now the company is set to appoint a marketing director to work with the brands, including the flagship Seriously Strong Cheddar range. Former joint managing directors Alastair and Douglas Irvine and their father, chairman Hugh Irvine, all left the company following acquisition.

McClelland's had a turnover of &£156m in 2004 and spent &£800,000 on advertising Seriously Strong Cheddar last year (Nielsen Media Research). The account is handled by 1576, which was appointed in 2002 (MW April 4, 2002). A Lactalis spokesman says there are no plans to review the account.

The Seriously Strong range was launched in 1996 and awareness was boosted by a controversial print campaign that carried the slogan "Safe sex, dangerous cheese" and depicted near-naked couples frolicking with cheese. Hello! magazine refused to carry three of the campaign executions.

In the past two years McClelland's has run a television campaign in Scotland and the north of England featuring a cheese-stealing Bond-type villain called Mousehead with the strapline "Do it for the taste".

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