But Meow Mix Marketer Says That Isn't True

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NEW YORK ( -- MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, has resigned creative duties for Meow Mix Co., said an agency spokeswoman, who cited creative differences as the reason for the move.

Richard Thompson, CEO of Meow Mix, said that to his knowledge no change has been made regarding creative responsibilities.

"As far as I'm concerned, Kirshenbaum is my agency of record. I've made no decision to do anything at this time," he said.

Production moved in-house
The reason for the split, one knowledgeable executive said, is Meow Mix's decision to take commercial production in-house for budgetary reasons. The agency, the executive said, didn't want to have its name attached to an advertisement that it didn't produce.

Kirshenbaum and two of its units, Lime Public Relations and Promotions and Media Kitchen, won creative and media responsibilities for the brand in March 2002, shortly after Ralston Purina sold the brand to J.W. Childs Associates (Buyout firm Cypress Group purchased Meow Company from J.W. Childs last year.) The agency's TV ads reprised and updated the well-known Meow Mix jingle, created in 1974 by legendary ad man Jerry Della Femina. Lime created and launched Meow TV, the first TV show for cats, which aired on the Oxygen Channel in 2003.

Media services unchanged
Media Kitchen will continue to handle advertising media planning and buying duties, the spokeswoman said.

Meow Mix spent $13 million in measured media 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, and $2.8 million in the first three months of 2004.