Via Adds Welch’s Creative

BOSTON Welch Foods has selected independent Via in Portland, Maine, for creative chores following a review led by Jones Lundin Beals, the consultancy in Chicago, the client said today.

The incumbent, WPP Group’s JWT, did not defend. WPP’s Maxus continues to handle media duties for the client.

“What Welch’s has found in Via is a partner who understands how to engage consumers in an ever-changing world,” said Chris Heye, vice president of marketing, Welch’s, in Concord, Mass. “We selected Via because they have assembled world-class creative and strategic talent and services while remaining a nimble and innovative agency current with today’s trends and challenges.”

Major media spending on the Welch’s brand has declined in recent years to nearly $15 million last year from about $20 million in 2006 and roughly $25 million in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The 2007 figure does not include online spending.

Welch’s is the food processing and marketing arm of the National Grape Cooperative Association, which has 1,350 members.

Other key clients of Via include LoJack, Maidenform, Colonial Life and Guardian Industries.