GENERAL MILLS CONSOLIDATES $450 MILLION ACCOUNT

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(May 3, 2001) -- General Mills, Minneapolis, is consolidating its $450 million advertising business with its two global holding companies, Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, and McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

As a result, General Mills has ended its relationship with Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago. DDB handled creative for such brands a Yoplait, Colombo, Expr1sse, Wheaties, Wheaties Energy Crunch, Oatmeal Crisp, Hamburger Helper, Bowl Appetit!, Betty Crocker desserts, Bisquick, Golden Grahams, Honey Nut Chex, Harmony, and Milk 'n Cereal bars.

The assignments for those brands have yet to be determined, General Mills said in a statement.

Media is expected to go to Zenith Media, jointly owned by Publicis and Cordiant Communications Group.

"General Mills has been evaluating all of its advertising agency relationships -- both buying and creative -- to strategically position the company globally for the future," said company a spokesman. "We have made a strategic decision to better leverage the strengths of our brands globally by consolidating our relationships." -- Kate MacArthur

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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