The Associated British Foods UK Grocery Group media review represented the interests of 5 autonomous business units – Allied Bakeries, AB World Foods, The Jordans & Ryvita Company, The Silver Spoon Company and Twinings UK. Collectively, these businesses own some of the UK’s best known grocery brands including Kingsmill, Levi Roots, Patak’s, Ryvita, Billington’s and Ovaltine.


ABF approached ID Comms to review their long-standing media agency relationship. The company had been working with ZenithOptimedia for around 8 years.

The review was overseen internally by the ABF UK Grocery Group Marketing Directors Forum – an internal body of marketing and procurement leaders from across the five main operating companies with responsibility for continuous improvement in media effectiveness. The Marketing Directors Forum tasked ID Comms to design the agency review process and manage the project.


The ABF media agency review had a very clear strategic ambition – to find an agency partner than could help the company move from a purely broadcast model to more of an engagement model over the coming years.

ABF was acutely aware that the media landscape and the way that consumers interact with brands has evolved significantly in recent years, and would continue to do so. It wanted to evolve its media investments to reflect these changes and to ensure that media spend worked as efficiently as possible to drive growth for the businesses. Rather than simply instigating a race to the bottom on media costs, ABF wanted to find the right strategic partner to provide leadership in digital media, integrated strategy and value creation.


  • Media cost exercise focused on delivering best-in-market pricing without compromising on quality elements;
  • Greater transparency in the process, communication and evaluation;
  • High quality briefing materials and innovative communications challenges for agencies ID Comms were the sole consulting partner for this review and developed a bespoke review process for ABF building upon our knowledge of market best-practice and adding high levels of innovation to the pitch process.

The review was completed in Q4 2012 with the account moving into Maxus from ZenithOptimedia. The whole review was completed on time and to budget despite the condensed three-month timeframe.

“ID Comms were fantastic in ensuring that the demands of the review didn’t impact on our day-to-day jobs, taking on in completeness the role of briefing and delivering feedback to the agencies.”

ABF UK Grocery Group Marketing Director