Barilla Taps Dentsu Aegis' 360i as Its First U.S. Digital Agency of Record

Digital and Technology Drive Everything Today, Says Barilla's Beth Reilly

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Italian pasta brand Barilla has hired Dentsu Aegis' 360i as its first digital agency of record in the U.S.

"360i impressed us with their track record, consumer insights and deep experience positioning brands to succeed in today's rapidly-evolving digital landscape," said Beth Reilly, senior director of digital and social marketing for the Americas at Barilla, in a statement. "Digital and technology are driving everything today, and we needed the right partner with the right vision to aggressively move us toward putting digital at the center of how we win in the supermarket aisle."

The agency will oversee the brand's digital and social marketing, including strategy, content creation and website design.

For 360i, the pasta win rounds out a food-heavy client portfolio which includes Nestle products, Mondelez' Oreo, Oscar Mayer and Subway, among others.

The shop also recently picked up global digital assignments from A-B InBev and Nestle, as well as Pernod Ricard media planning and buying.

The company has all but repaired its tattered image since Chairman Guido Barilla said last year that he opposed using gay families in ads. In addition to sparking a consumer outcry, the comments encouraged competitor Buitoni to go directly after Barilla with a Facebook post carrying the message "Pasta for all" and gender symbols made out of pasta.

Mr. Barilla apologized numerous times, and the company quickly established a Diversity and Inclusion Board and later took other measures indicating that it's embracing equality.

Barilla spent $31.4 million on domestic measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media.

The company also works with WPP's Y&R and Omnicom's OMD.

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