General Mills Canada account up in air after FCB merger

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TORONTO -- FCB,Toronto has merged with Harrod & Mirlin, also Toronto, throwing open the General Mills Canada business.

FCB, which has worked on General Mills for the past 10 years, has resigned the account because of potential conflict with H&M's Quaker Oats account. FCB itself holds Quaker Oats business in other countries. General Mills President Christie Strauss says she hasn't yet decided what to do with the account.

The newly merged agency will be called Harrod & Mirlin/FCB with combined billings of $76 million. The H&M offices will be relocated to FCB's office in Toronto and H&M President Ian Mirlin and Exec utive Creative Director Brian Harrod will retain the same positions at the new agency.

FCB and H&M were first joined indirectly in 1996 when H&M was bought by FCB's holding company, True North Communications, Chicago. However, H&M has operated independently from the FCB network up until this time.

"This merger represents the building of a better company, not simply a bigger one," says Ian Mirlin. "With an expanded set of resources and a deeper talent pool, we are honing a company that will be more competitive here at home and better poised to take advantage of global opportunities."

The new agency's other high profile accounts include Nabisco Brands, Coors Brewing Co., Tropicana, S.C. Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., Bristol Myers Squibb's Mead Johnson, and Canadian Pacific Hotels.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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