NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- General Mills has shifted creative duties for its Totino's brand from Saatchi & Saatchi to Publicis Groupe sibling Fallon, Minneapolis, according to executives familiar with the matter.
Totino's -- which claims to be America's best-selling frozen-pizza brand -- spends an estimated $20 million to $25 million on advertising. Also in the hunt for the account were General Mills roster shops Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson and Publicis-backed Bromley Communications. Media remains at Publicis Groupe's Zenith.
Though it's not a large account in terms of billings, the Totino's shift is surprising given Saatchi's longtime relationship with General Mills. It comes on top of the agency's loss of a key Procter & Gamble account -- also to a sibling agency -- just last week.
P&G yanked its $200 million Crest account from Saatchi in North America and Europe, handing it to Publicis Worldwide as part of a consolidation of P&G's oral-care business with a single agency.
The General Mills win marks Fallon's first time working with the package-foods giant, which is also headquartered in Minneapolis. General Mills did not immediately return calls for comment, while agency representatives either referred calls to the marketer or could not be immediately reached.
General Mills spent a staggering $500 million in U.S. measured media to market its various brands between January and September of 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The parent of brands such as Cheerios, Yoplait and Pillsbury has been weathering the economic storm well, managing to post sales increases.