KRAFT SHIFTS $35 MILLION AD ACCOUNT TO MCGARRY BOWEN

New York Shop Gets Salad Dressings, Mayonnaise and Barbecue Sauce Work

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In another victory for small ad agencies taking on Madison Ave. giants, Kraft Foods has moved creative responsibilities for its salad dressings, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce to independent McGarry Bowen, New York, the marketer said.
Kraft's salad dressing, mayonnaise and barbeque sauce accounts were previously with JWT and Foote Cone & Belding.

$35 million
The accounts had been at WPP Group’s JWT and Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Foote Cone & Belding, both in Chicago. Kraft spends about $35 million on salad dressing and mayonnaise, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The shift is the latest move by top marketers such as Coca-Cola Co., McDonald’s Corp. and Motorola to add start-up agenices to their rosters in recent years.

Run by former Y&R CEO John McGarry and former Ogilvy & Mather Executive Creative Director Gordon Bowen, the agency works for Reebok, Verizon, Marriott and Pfizer.

A McGarry Bowen spokesman referred calls to Kraft.

“We’re always exploring how we and our agency partners can work together to develop world-class advertising,” Kraft spokeswoman Renee Zahery said. “We’re looking to bring fresh perspective to these businesses and McGarry Bowen has a proven ability to create compelling campaigns that resonate with consumers.”

JWT and FCB status
Both JWT, which handled the mayonnaise business, and FCB, which handled the salad dressings and barbecue sauces, have large chunks of Kraft work. “Both of those firms remain close partners,” Ms. Zahery said. “On occasion, we use resources outside our core agencies to secure that fresh perspective.”

Kraft is in need of fresh perspectives. CEO Roger Deromedi announced efforts to turn around sluggish sales through a "Sustainable Growth Plan" that began in January 2004 and has since sold off non-core businesses such as Altoids and, most recently, a slew of Canadian grocery brands. Kraft is expected to sell still more brands, among them MilkBone dog biscuits. Still, Kraft is suffering sales losses to private-label brands and other competitors, and many analysts have cited the food behemoth's lack of innovation as the cause.

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