NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Under extreme pressure as a newly independent public entity, struggling Kraft Foods has put five U.S. brands worth $120 million in billings into review.
JWT to keep international biz
The brands, Oscar Mayer, Kraft Singles, Ritz, Triscuit and Grey Poupon, all formerly were handled by WPP Group's JWT, which retains all its international business for Kraft. JWT will also hold on to Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Wheat Thins in the U.S., brands whose media outlay together totaled $46.5 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Lunchables, which until recently was handled by JWT, was today awarded to Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB. Kraft spent $40 million in media on Lunchables last year, according to TNS. Miracle Whip also was recently reassigned to Omnicom Group's DDB from JWT.
A Kraft spokeswoman said: "Kraft's growth strategy calls for innovation across the board. ... Our marketing must deliver on all fronts -- from breakthrough creative ideas to the technology we use to communicate with our consumers. That's why we'll be asking agencies to bring forth bold, game-changing ideas for some of our premier brands."
Kraft's turnaround results have been slow to emerge, putting pressure on both its agencies and internal executives. Late last week, the change agent Kraft put into its top marketing role less than a year ago, Chief Marketing Officer Jeri Finard, resigned effective in May.
An executive close to Kraft spoke of the review as an example of the "huge pressure" Kraft is under to demonstrate change to Wall Street.
Kraft wouldn't name agencies involved in the review but said decisions are expected by summer's end. Kraft's roster includes DDB, Chicago; DraftFCB; Havas' Euro RSCG; independent McGarryBowen; and JWT and WPP sibling Ogilvy & Mather.
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Contributing: Brooke Capps