BBDO Gets Wrigley's Extra Brand From Sibling DDB

Incumbent Finds Itself Further Marginalized on Marketer's Roster

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Mars' Wrigley unit has awarded creative chores on its Wrigley's Extra brand to Omnicom's Energy BBDO, Chicago, following a review.

The brand, which shells out about $35 million per year on measured media, had been at Omnicom sibling DDB, Chicago.

The win helps the BBDO network tighten its stranglehold on Mars' creative roster. The network now handles creative chores for the marketer's six largest confection brands -- M&M's, Orbit, Five, Snickers, Eclipse and now Extra -- as measured by media spending.

"Our focus in conducting the review was to ensure that Extra gum remains relevant with consumers and we are confident that BBDO is the right partner to help us grow this brand in a crowded, competitive landscape," said a Wrigley spokeswoman.

Extra was DDB's largest Mars brand, and, while the agency still handles Life Savers, its role on the roster is increasingly marginal. "We continue to appreciate their partnership and contributions to our business," the Wrigley spokeswoman said.

The creative account move is merely the latest in a series of agency shuffles for Mars. In May, it consolidated its $500 million-plus media buying and planning account with Publicis Groupe's MediaVest. MediaVest bested Wrigley's legacy shop Mindshare in that review, which a spokeswoman said was intended to cut costs. In September, it consolidated creative on Mars' snack-food brands, including Snickers, at BBDO.

Then, in November, in what struck many as yet another cost-saving step, Wrigley dumped its three digital agencies -- Digitas, Tribal DDB and Agency.com -- for a trio of smaller, production-centric shops. That move sparked a debate over whether legacy digital shops are valuable partners or merely costly middlemen.

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