Valspar to Name DraftFCB Agency of Record

Paint Marketer's $35 Million Account Hotly Contested by Chicago Shops

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CHICAGO ( -- Valspar is set to name DraftFCB, Chicago, its new agency of record, according to people familiar with the matter.

DraftFCB bested crosstown rivals Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather and Element 79 for the account, which doled out about $35 million in measured media spending last year, according to Kantar Media. The account was in play because incumbent Euro RSCG, Chicago, was forced to walk away from the business after its London office won global duties on Dulux, a rival paint manufacturer, which dwarfed the scale of the Valspar work.

The assignment includes general advertising, retail and digital work.

The pitch for the Wheeling, Ill.-based marketer's business was hotly contested, in part because of the account's budget and in part because of its potential as a creative showpiece. Euro won prizes in the Effie Awards and Kelly Awards, for instance, during its tenure on the business.

A key player in DraftFCB's successful pitch for the business was a recent hire, Scot Havrilla, who ran Euro's Valspar account before taking a job at DraftFCB earlier this year. Mr. Havrilla is said to have played a significant role in the win, leading to some grousing from executives at losing shops, who wonder out loud if they ever really had a shot at taking the business. (Adding further frustration: Presentations for the pitch were held the Monday and Tuesday following Easter, meaning agency teams prepped through a holiday weekend.)

A call to Valspar's PR agency were not immediately returned, and a DraftFCB spokesman declined to comment.

The win continues what has been a mostly positive new-business year for DraftFCB thus far: State Farm awarded it a large chunk of its digital business as well as creative duties on its auto-insurance lines, and it was tapped as Volkswagen of America's customer-relationship management agency. It also expanded its relationship with Merck by prevailing in a review for consolidated media-planning chores following Merck's merger with Schering-Plough.

On the downside, the shop has seen considerable bleeding on its long-held Kraft Foods account, parting ways with Planters, Macaroni & Cheese and Lunchables since December. It did, however, recently retain the marketer's Chips Ahoy brand in a pitch involving roster shops, and it continues to work on Oreos, Jell-O, A1 as well as other major brands.

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