Bolthouse Farms -- which for the past year worked with MDC Partners' CP&B-- has consolidated creative advertising duties for its line of baby carrots, beverages, salad dressings and vinagrettes with Goodness Mfg., an independent Los Angeles-based shop founded by former CP&B staffers.
According to CP&B, it didn't lose the account; rather, it says it orchestrated the move to a smaller shop they're friendly with because the account was no longer financially viable for an agency the size of CP&B. Bolthouse Farms spent less than $100,000 in U.S. measured media for all of 2010, per Kantar.
"We had a great time working for Bolthouse Farms and are extremely proud of the fun work that we did for baby carrots," said Jeff Steinhour president & partner at CP&B in a statement. "At the end of our one-year project, it became very clear that Bolthouse Farms was not in a business position to continue our campaign, which meant that we just did not feel that we could renew our agreement with them. We suggested they look to Goodness, a very good, small shop of former CP&B'ers on the West Coast who would be a better fit for their situation. It's terrific to see they took our suggestion and we can't wait to see the new work."
A spokeswoman for Goodness Mfg., meanwhile, told Ad Age that the agency, which has recently won business such as ING Direct, El Pollo Loco and Toshiba Consumer Electronics, won the Bolthouse account "after a full review."
It's a curious end to a relationship that , at least for a year's time, seemed a mutually beneficial one.
Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bolthouse, a health-food company and lead for nearly 50 carrot growers, earned a range of accolades with the "Eat 'Em Like Junk Food" campaign developed by CP&B. Its CMO Bryan Reese expressed the desire for Bolthouse to challenge snack food giants, and despite a tiny marketing budget, the CP&B work--which created brightly-colored, junk-food-like packaging for baby carrots, garnered reams of media attention and creative awards like Cannes Lions, One Show Pencils and ANDY awards.
It was good for CP&B too. While speaking at Ad Age 's Small Agency Conference in Denver last month, CPB's Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Rob Reilly told attendees that not every account is about money, and that the Bolthouse account was very significant to the shop because it allowed creatives to do great work.
Bolthouse's Mr. Reese couldn't immediately be reached. But in a statement he had this to say: "Our initial branding and advertising campaign for baby carrots generated overwhelming customer and consumer response and highlighted the growth potential of applying innovative marketing techniques to all-natural, fresh foods and beverages. We are thrilled to have selected a single advertising partner able to serve all of our business segments and look forward to working with goodness Mfg. to develop new marketing initiatives that will extend our mission to revolutionize the delivery mechanisms for healthy, natural foods beyond carrots."
Not everything will be new though -- Goodness will be expected to extend the "Eat 'Em Like Junk Food" idea that CP&B created.