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(July 5, 2001) -- Nestle is finalizing a reshuffling of some of its biggest international brands with the goal of assigning lead agencies that will work on the same brand in each country.

Nestle is conducting a painstaking review, including asking each of its six global networks which other food clients they handle, so that all the networks end up with about the same billings they handled previously.

Currently the same brand is often handled by two or three or more of the Vevey, Switzerland-based marketer's global agency networks: Dentsu; Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide; WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis.

Nestle spends $329 million on U.S. advertising and $1.58 billion on advertising outside the U.S., making Nestle the third-largest advertiser outside the U.S. after Unilever and Procter & Gamble. -- Laurel Wentz

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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