In a move to consolidate work within agencies, Kellogg Co. hired Interpublic Group of Cos' Weber Shandwick and its sister agency Current Lifestyle Marketing to handle PR for all of its U.S. brands.
"Kellogg continually seeks agency partners that bring best-in-class consumer insights, strategic thought leadership and creative thinking to our business. As a result, we are consolidating public-relations support for U.S. brands with Weber Shandwick and its sister agency Current Lifestyle Marketing in Chicago," said Brandy Ruff, director of brand public relations at Kellogg, in a statement. "We continue to work with Ketchum and [Publicis Groupe 's] MSLGroup on a variety of our projects for corporate communications, internal communications and cause-related marketing programs."
The company invited a large group of agencies to participate in a competitive review about two months ago. They included: Omnicom's Fleishman-Hillard, independent shop Edelman, MSLGroup and incumbent Ketchum, which is also an Omnicom firm, as well as other incumbents, according to a number of industry executives. Weber Shandwick had not worked with any of the Kellogg brands prior to the review.
Ketchum had handled the more-than-$2 million cereal-brands account for about five years, according to knowledgeable executives. The agency referred calls to the client.
It's understood that the consolidation will also affect other roster agencies such as independent firm Hunter PR, which works on the Keebler cookies, Cheez-It and Morningstar Farms brands. Ms. Ruff said in her statement: "We've enjoyed our partnerships with other public-relations agencies with which we have worked and wish them continued success."
Hunter did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
Earlier this year, Kellogg hired Ms. Ruff, former director of integrated marketing communications at Alberto Culver, as its new director for brand PR. In the past, she held positions at Edelman and Weber Shandwick. It's not immediately clear whether or not her recent appointment sparked the review.
Kellogg's brands include Special K, Nutri-Grain, Pop-Tarts, Famous Amos, Kashi and Eggo, among others.