Mars Incorporated has named DDB New York agency of record for Iams and Eukanuba pet food brands. The decision comes just four months after the company agreed to acquire Procter & Gamble's pet care brands in a $2.9 billion deal.
The incumbent, Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, had been global agency for the brands since 1999, when P&G first acquired them from Iams Co.
"Mars Petcare U.S. has retained DDB for creative support for the Iams and Eukanuba brands, and will begin transitioning the work over the next few months," a spokeswoman for Mars Inc. said in an email. "The Mars relationship with DDB expands the existing pet food portfolio with DDB, which already includes Royal Canin and Temptations. There are no changes planned to the balance of the Mars Pet care portfolio."
A spokeswoman for DDB, part of Omnicom Group, declined to comment.
Saatchi earlier this year lost the Miller Lite account and the Duracell digital business. A Saatchi spokeswoman declined to comment.
DDB's new account will come with its own set of challenges. The brands have yet to recover fully from a 2007 pet food recall, ultimately traced back to a contract manufacturer who had used melamine-tainted gluten purchased from China. P&G's 2013 earnings report showed it had a 5% share of the pet care business in North America, down from 12% in 2007.
Iams and Eukanuba pet foods spent more than $52 million advertising in measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media.