Hershey Taps VML as Digital Agency of Record

Global Assignment Covers All Confectioner's Brands

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Hershey Co. has named WPP's VML digital agency of record for corporate work and brands including Hershey's chocolate bars, Kisses, Reese's, Twizzlers and York Peppermint Pattie.

"They possess the right balance of digital strategy, brand planning, creative expertise, website design and maintenance, data analysis and social media execution," a Hershey's spokesman said in a statement. Consultant Pile & Co. handled the review.

VML will handle global digital strategy, creative, implementation and analytics across brands alongside the Hershey, Pa., company's creative and media agencies, Havas' Arnold Worldwide and Omnicom's OMD, respectively.

"Our ability to partner with those agencies was key to winning the business," said Jim Radosevic, partner, managing director at VML, New York -- the office that will lead the Hershey relationship.

Executives familiar with the matter estimate the account is worth $2 million to $3 million to the Kansas City, Mo., agency. VML is a Young & Rubicam brand and earned $84 million in revenue in 2008, according to Ad Age's Data Center.

Hershey has impressed investors this year, as earnings have responded to increased marketing support. The company committed to a 50% increase in 2009, over a substantial increase in 2008. Hershey has recently focused on breathing new life into beloved brands like Reese's, Kisses and Hershey, as well as strong support for Hershey's Bliss. The marketer has also brought Twizzlers and Kit Kat back to TV after a five-year hiatus.

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