Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, agency for Nabisco cookies in the U.S., was given creative responsibility for the overseas accounts, while McCann-Erickson Worldwide, agency for U.S. crackers, will handle "consumer contact strategy" and media buying and planning for the brands.
Those brands include Chips Ahoy! and Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers.
The loser in the pitch, which started late last year, was J. Walter Thompson Co.
The realignment covers Nabis-co's operations across 85 countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The review was begun because of Nabisco's desire to build its brands outside the U.S., where it's far outpaced by competitors (AA, Feb. 17).
"We believe there is massive growth potential for our core brands outside North America," said Christopher Coughlin, president of Nabisco International. "To build our brands and drive profitable sales and market share, we felt it necessary to make our advertising assignments consistent among our core lines of business-and better aligned with our North American operations-to achieve creative consistency and spending synergies."
`GREAT STEP FORWARD'
Out of the three agencies, FCB had the least of Nabisco's international business before the win.
"We took a great step forward," said FCB Chairman-CEO Brendan Ryan, who was in the pitch team along with nine other senior executives, including FCB International President Harry Reid.
Mr. Ryan dismissed suggestions from others in the industry that the agency didn't win the media assignment because of its widely publicized problems with its former Publicis alliance.
"This is a great affirmation that the FCB network is world-class," he said. "Nabisco is another marketer that has recognized that, after S.C. Johnson, Kimberly-Clark and Tambrands."
In winning its part of the business, McCann has to relinquish some creative responsibilities for brands it had handled outside the U.S., such as Planters and LifeSavers.
"We're thrilled to be their partner" in the worldwide push, said McCann Exec VP-Worldwide Accounts Peter Hamilton.
He said the agency had considered itself "a dark horse" in the race because of JWT's close relationship with Nabisco in Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region.
A spokeswoman for JWT said the agency "wasn't a good candidate for an [international] consolidation at Nabisco because of potential conflicts with other food clients, Kraft and Nestle."
That reasoning, however, didn't stop McCann, a major Nestle agency around the world, or FCB, a core Kraft agency, from taking the Nabisco business.