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Kraft Begins Global Pitch for Trident

Longtime Incumbent JWT Won't Defend

By Published on . 2

Kraft is making another agency change, this time on its Trident gum brand. WPP's JWT has worked on the brand for several years and will not participate in a global review that has just been launched by the food and confectionary giant.

"Our growth strategy calls for innovation across the board, including marketing," Kraft said in a statement. "We want to bring fresh thinking to Trident. It was a tough, but important, call that we needed to make for this iconic, global brand."

JWT declined to comment on the loss of the business. The agency will continue to work on Kraft's Halls brand globally and other brands overseas such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese and coffee brands Jacobs and Kenco. It is also working on local cheese and grocery businesses with the exception of Dairylea, Kraft said.

For JWT, this news marks the second time in a matter of months the agency has unceremoniously had a brand yanked from its roster. The shop in May lost two pieces of business from Microsoft: the Office account was reassigned to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, and Bing, the search engine that JWT helped launch in the spring of 2009, will land at another agency.

For Kraft, the decision to review Trident is merely the latest in a long line of account changes that have been undertaken for the company's wide portfolio of brands.

Earlier in the month, Kraft awarded its A1 steak sauce to Seattle's Creature . The brand had previously been at Interpublic's DraftFCB and was pulled late last year along with three other brands, including Jell-O, which was given to MDC Partners' CP&B, and Cool Whip, which landed at Interpublic's Martin Agency. Barbecue sauce brand Bulls-Eye, which was also pulled from DraftFCB, is not yet assigned to an agency of record. DraftFCB continues to work on Oreo, one of the company's biggest brands.

Additionally an agency has yet to be announced for Triscuit, which was at Euro RSCG's new office, and the agency was not expected to defend the account. WPP's Taxi last month picked up marketing duties for liquid water enhancer Mio, just a few months after McGarryBowen helped launch what Kraft calls its "biggest investment on a new business in the last decade."

But McGarryBowen has benefited from much of the Kraft roster changes. In 2010, the Dentsu shop added Chips Ahoy, Fig Newtons and Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs -- brands previously at DraftFCB -- to its existing Kraft roster, which includes 2009 wins Lunchables, also previously at DraftFCB; Kraft Singles and Philadelphia Cream Cheese, both formerly at Nitro; and Oscar Mayer, Crystal Light and Maxwell House, all formerly at WPP's Ogilvy & Mather. MDC's CP&B last year had won Milka, which came from Ogilvy & Mather, and Macaroni & Cheese and Jell-O, which were at DraftFCB. Indie agency Droga5 made its way onto the Kraft roster in 2010 with Athenos, a brand that previously had no agency of record.

Trident is the second-largest brand in the sugarless-gum category, trailing only Orbit, according to SymphonyIRI. On the heels of Trident, which had 12.95% market share in the year ended April 17, is Wrigley's 5 gum -- a brand with 12.84% market share and quickly gaining. Kraft in 2010 spent about $61.2 million on Trident's U.S. measured media in 2010.

Since Kraft acquired several gum brands from Cadbury, the company has been working on revitalizing the brands, including a June push for Stride. Kraft in December had rolled out under the Trident name, which is part of Kraft's Cadbury unit, a new line of gum called Trident Vitality.

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