MCCANN GETS GENERAL MILLS CEREAL BRANDS IN U.K.

Saatchi Loses Hold on Consolidated Cereal Partners Ad Account

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Cereal Partners Worldwide is officially consolidating advertising for the brand outside North America at the McCann Erickson, months after the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency quietly began working on Cheerios in the U.K.
CPW, a joint venture between General Mills and Nestle to market breakfast cereals outside North America, is moving the $10 million Cheerios business out of Saatchi & Saatchi in the U.K.

CPW, a joint venture between General Mills and Nestle to market breakfast cereals outside North America, is moving the $10 million Cheerios business out of Saatchi & Saatchi in the U.K. effective Jan. 1, completing McCann’s hold on the brand and snatching away Saatchi’s biggest CPW assignment.

Recent TV campaign
McCann Erickson’s London office created the most recent U.K. TV campaign for Cheerios on a fixed-fee basis, after Saatchi failed to agree with CPW on how to go forward, according to an executive close to the business. McCann began working on Cheerios in spring 2005 while the account was still officially at Saatchi, according to one executive familiar with the matter.

Neither agency could be reached for comment.

Cheerios has only recently become a big brand in Europe, and is now a major player in CPW’s European portfolio along with to Shredded Wheat, Shreddies and Fitnesse -- all handled by McCann. McCann in London now holds the bulk of CPW’s U.K. budget.

Saatchi retains responsibility for lesser brands including Honey Nut Cheerios, Cookie Crisp and Honey Stars. The Publicis Groupe agency has also been given additional responsibility for global promotions advertising on CPW’s children-oriented brands. Saatchi is handling, for instance, a CPW tie-in with the film “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.”

All quiet in New York
In the U.S., Saatchi’s New York office retains the $100 million Cheerios business -- not to mention General Mills' almost $550 million business in the U.S. -- despite the controversy following the defection in February of the 17-person core account group for General Mills. The group now works as an autonomous unit called One Seven, based in the offices of Interpublic’s Lowe, but has not yet picked up any General Mills business despite speculation that the account would follow the 17 executives out of Saatchi.

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Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.

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