Wrigley's First CMO Battles Cadbury

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As Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. faces down competition from Cadbury Adams, it has named its first-ever global chief marketing officer. Martin Schlatter explained to Ad Age's Stephanie Thompson how his new role will help stem share losses to the formidable foe.

Why did CEO Bill Wrigley Jr. choose to name a CMO now?

It's a logical continuation of what the company has done over the past eight years since Bill took over. Ten years ago, marketing was a completely different function, and he has since built up marketing departments and talent and developed a consumer-centric company focused on building global brands. Two-thirds of our business is outside the U.S., with China the fastest-growing country.

What is your mission as CMO?

To build brands and continue to leverage our global footprint, cross-fertilizing ideas like the Doublemint Kona Creme Coffee Gum, first launched in China, that is testing successfully in 7-Eleven in the U.S.

What changes do you foresee making to Wrigley's marketing mix?

The wFay we communicate will shift toward more integrated campaigns featuring much more digital media. We recently relaunched our website, candystand.com, and will do much more along those lines to win the hearts and minds of our core teenage consumers, who consume every kind of media ... sometimes all at the same time, like my 14-year-old daughter!

Are there plans to shift your agency roster?

We're not jumping agencies just because share is down for a four-week period. Could that change in the future? Potentially. Last year we changed our media agency in the U.S. [consolidating the $150M media buying and planning with MindShare], and we are reviewing our Hispanic account, currently at Lapiz, Chicago, as Hispanic teens play a more and more important role.
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