council-chooses-exponent-pr-to-promote-olive-oil-in-north-americaMinneapolis-based advertising agency Colle + McVoy and its public relations partner Exponent PR have won the 1.2 million euro ($1.7 million) contract to promote olive oil and olive consumption in the U.S. and Canada in 2011-2012.

The International Olive Council, which will fund and control the campaign, announced the decision today (Wednesday).

An IOC spokesperson said that having reviewed the six applications made last month, its Tenders Evaluation Committee had proposed Exponent PR from three finalists.

The agency’s past work includes campaigns for the North American Olive Oil Association. Tom Lindell, managing director of Exponent, told Olive Oil Times today that his team, pleased to learn of their successful bid, was already preparing to hit the ground running.

The IOC wants to launch its 18-month generic campaign during the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s Fancy Food Show, to be held in Washington this summer. Promotional initiatives are expected to focus on the retail level, where research has indicated it is easier to influence buying decisions.

In its tender information, the IOC said that the campaign should emphasize that olive oil and table olives are healthy products that can be used raw or cooked to flavor many kinds of food, not just Mediterranean cuisine. And it wants to educate consumers on value, saying that the general message on the distinctive features of olive oil and table olives “should be aimed at justifying the price of the product.”

After Europe, North America is the world’s biggest consumer of table olives and olive oil. The IOC intends the campaign to focus on securing greater volume purchases from existing consumers there in the short-medium term, and in the longer term to attract new consumers. It expects to see U.S. imports increase significantly over the next 3-5 years.

In other IOC tenders, Deloitte was selected to conduct an 80,000 euro ($115,000) market study in Brazil, ahead of a later promotional campaign there. The IOC wants the resulting report, due October 17, to cover issues including the type of consumers, market supply in the last decade, details of suppliers, analysis of consumer price trends and also of customs duties and technical barriers, and a review of the fraud situation involving olives and olive oil.

This week the IOC also called for tenders for market research on consumption of table olives and olive oil in Australia, Japan and South Korea. Tenders must be submitted no later than July 21 and the successful applicants must submit their research by January 4. The budgets are: Australia:€85 000 ($122 375), Japan €80 000 ($115,176), and South Korea €75 000 ($107,980).

All three studies must address issues such as demand and market supply in the last decade, and consumer types, but the Australian one must also evaluate the country’s likely olive oil and table olive production and export trends in the next 10–15 years, and appraise its export capabilities.

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