Friday, November 07, 2014

12202: Kraft Selects 4 White Shops.

Adweek reported Kraft has consolidated its advertising agency roster from 12 to four shops. The “winning” White agencies—Crispin Porter + Bogusky, mcgarrybowen, Leo Burnett and Taxi—show that Kraft isn’t really interested in breakthrough creative. Then again, given that content gets four times better ROI than advertising, does it really matter who churns out the campaigns? Among the rejected is Droga5 and Wieden + Kennedy, whose work was probably too weird for Kraft (and Droga5’s stuff was weird and shitty). Kraft also cut Lopez Negrete Communications, with no indication of replacing the minority shop. Oddly enough, the Adweek story makes zero references to how multicultural marketing will be addressed. Perhaps the crumbs will be consolidated via cross-cultural assignments between the four White agencies. Although that would sorta fly in the face of Kraft’s alleged commitment to diversity and supplier diversity, no?

There Are 4 Big Winners in Kraft’s Agency Consolidation

Their gains come at the expense of 8 shops

By Andrew McMains

Some pretty good agencies are getting swept out in Kraft’s move to consolidate creative responsibilities on its brands at four main roster shops.

Gone are Droga5, Wieden + Kennedy, The Martin Agency and TBWA’s Being, which handled brands such as Cracker Barrel, Velveeta, Stove Top and Planters Nuts. Also eliminated were Ogilvy & Mather, Roberts + Langer DDB, VSA Partners and Lopez Negrete Communications, which created multicultural ads.

Many of those shops were hired before Kraft spun off its snacks business into Mondelez International and when current Mondelez chief marketing officer Dana Anderson was a top marketer at Kraft. Under Anderson, a former agency leader, Kraft diversified its agency roster in a bid to get new blood on legacy brands.

Managing that many shops, however, can be unwieldy, particularly when each handled just a few assignments. Ogilvy, for example, worked on Nabob and Tassimo in Canada and Roberts + Langer handled Philadephia Cream Cheese in the U.S.

Also, two years after the spinoff, Kraft is a “more focused company,” said a company representative, who added that the consolidation was about “fewer, deeper relationships.” And, needless to say, there’s a significant cost savings in employing fewer shops.

The rep also emphasized that “none of these agencies are exiting due to poor performance.” That, of course, is small consolation to anyone losing business, particularly from a major marketer like Kraft.

The big winners in the consolidation are MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Dentsu’s mcgarrybowen, Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett and WPP Group’s Taxi, current roster players who will take on the dozen or so brands that the outgoing agencies are shedding.

Where each brand lands, however, won’t be revealed until next week. But now, instead of employing a dozen creative agencies, Kraft will have a core four.

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