Crispin Wins Kraft's Global Milka Chocolate Account

Victory Boosts MDC-Owned Agency's International Ambitions

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Kraft Foods is awarding the global creative account for its Milka chocolate brand to MDC Partners-owned Crispin Porter & Bogusky following a review that knocked out incumbent Ogilvy & Mather.

"Following a competitive pitch situation, Crispin Porter's insights were the most relevant, engaging and innovative, showing us new insights and understanding and new ways to meaningfully connect with the consumer," said Laurie M. Guzzinati, Kraft's director of communications. "They've delivered a truly big idea, which demonstrated the most potential for breadth and longevity. They will bring a new, fresh perspective to the global Milka brand."

The account, which Ogilvy handled from its Paris office, will be run out of London by Crispin. McGarryBowen, which has been winning more U.S. business from Kraft, was believed to be the other final contender. None of the three agencies immediately returned calls.

The win is a significant international move for Crispin, which already works with Burger King and Microsoft Corp outside the U.S. The agency established a European footprint last year with its purchase of Swedish digital shop Daddy and earlier this year created CPB Canada by acquiring sibling shop Zig. Under new CEO Andrew Keller, Crispin is planning to grow the network into other markets in South America and Asia. McGarryBowen is becoming a global force too and opened its own London office this summer.

The Milka work also allows Crispin, which handles Kraft's Mac & Cheese in the U.S., to expand into the confectionery side of the business. The victory comes on the heels of the agency's MetLife win for CPB on Friday.

Milka's budget hasn't been disclosed, but Ad Age's annual Top Global Marketers report ranks Kraft Foods as No. 18 with annual ad spending of $1.8 billion, more than half of it outside the U.S. Ogilvy has held a declining share of Kraft's business over the last few years, although it still handles international beverage, coffee and confectionery assignments.

Kraft has designated Milka as one of its five global snack power brands. The other four cited by Kraft are Cadbury chocolate, which Kraft acquired earlier this year when it took over the British confectioner of the same name; Trident chewing gum; and cookie brands Oreo and Lu.

More than half of Kraft's revenue now comes from outside North America, and by 2013 sales from developing markets, including Brazil, China and Mexico, are likely to increase from a quarter of Kraft's total revenue to about one-third.

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