D'Arcy takes the lead on Int'l Home Foods' Pam, Gulden's efforts

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International Home Foods has tapped D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, to handle two of its better-name brands: Pam cooking spray and Gulden's mustard.

The shift follows a three-month creative shoot-out among several ad agencies, including Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, according to executives close to the situation.

International Home Foods and previous agency Northlich Stolley LaWarre, Cincinnati, parted ways in October 1999. Northlich won the brands from 62-year incumbent Young & Rubicam, New York, in November 1998.

The marketer spends an estimated $13 million on annual ad support for Pam, but has neglected Gulden's for the past several years.

For the first 10 months of 1999, the brand received less than $1 million in ad spending, according to Competitive Media Reporting.


However, the company is expected to put increased support behind all of its brands in 2000. Spending this year for Pam and Gulden's is expected to rise to the $20 million to $30 million range, according to executives close to the review.

The company has already upped its alliances for Chef Boyardee and others in the sports marketing arena, which include World Wrestling Federation and Nascar tie-ins.

D'Arcy's creative for Pam and Gulden's is slated to break in the next several months.

Pam currently is the market leader in the $190 million browning/pan spray market with a 51.4% share, according to Information Resources Inc. For the 52 weeks ended Jan. 2, Pam sales increased 14.6% to $98 million. Although Gulden's holds 6.5% of the $297 million mustard market, its sales dropped 2.4% to $19 million during the period.


Fogarty Klein & Partners, Houston, which already handles creative and some planning for International Home Foods brands Chef Boyardee, Crunch 'n Munch and Ro-tel canned tomatoes also benefited from the marketer's split with Northlich. The agency picked up smaller accounts including chili line Dennison's and Luck's Country Style Foods.

International Home Foods' media buying will continue to be handled by Advanswers, St. Louis, according to executives close to the situation.

The shift to D'Arcy comes as the agency attempts to strengthen its capabilities in the food arena. In 1999, D'Arcy won a $60 million Pillsbury Co. assignment for brands including Totino's pizza and Pillsbury breakfast brands. The agency also absorbed Procter & Gamble Co.'s Folgers coffee business from sister shop N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York.

D'Arcy has attempted to diversify from its package-goods reputation of late. In the past year, the agency has won Capital One, Pillsbury, Sprint Corp.'s ION, Molson Breweries USA and Pfizer's Relpax.

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