PILLSBURY ADDS DMB&B TO ITS ROSTER IN SURPRISE: FCB LOSES OUT ON BREAKFAST, PIZZA BRANDS

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Pillsbury Co., after a top-secret review, moved $60 million in spending to a shop that hadn't been on its creative roster.

D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, swept up Totino's pizza and snacks and Pillsbury's breakfast brands from Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco.

In the shift, DMB&B -- which handles broadcast buying for Burger King Corp. and United Distillers & Vintners, siblings with Pillsbury under Diageo -- also picked up the $15 million Progresso soup brand.

The agency on the Progresso business was Nelson-Henry, Minneapolis.

Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, which has an estimated $100 million-plus in Pillsbury business, gained Martha White baking mixes in the shuffle, also coming from Nelson-Henry.

HAAGEN-DAZS UNAFFECTED

Unaffected was Partners & Shevack/Wolf, New York, which keeps Pillsbury's estimated $10 million to $15 million Haagen-Dazs account.

Pillsbury didn't make any mention of a review in discussing the account changes, which it attributed to a need "to drive further brand growth and create new efficiencies."

But executives familiar with the situation said Pillsbury, aiming to shore up its breakfast business, had approached at least two other shops with experience in the area.

One of those said to have been contacted was J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, which handles Kellogg Co.; the other was Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, agency for General Mills cereals.

Both are said to have declined to pitch because of conflicts. Neither would comment.

UNCOMFORTABLE WITH CONFLICT

Conflict may have been a factor in spurring the review in the first place. An executive close to Pillsbury said the company had grown uncomfortable with FCB handling its frozen pizza brand on the West Coast since the agency's Chicago office is the agency for Kraft Foods' DiGiorno and Tombstone brands.

However, those clients have co-existed peaceably for years; FCB received the Kraft pizza assignment in 1989 and its San Francisco office has been a Pillsbury shop since 1990.

Pillsbury CEO John Lilly, in place only since July, is working with two familiar agencies. Both Burnett and DMB&B are major agencies of Procter & Gamble Co., the marketer Mr. Lilly left to join Pillsbury.

GLOBAL REACH, CAPACITY

Mr. Lilly, it has been said, wanted an agency with more global capabilities.

A spokesman said that wasn't the reason for the switch, but said it was true Pillsbury "is looking for global reach and capability" in its shops.

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