Bolthouse Taps JWT

J. Walter Thompson’s office here has landed advertising duties for Bolthouse Farms, an 87-year-old company that is a leading producer of carrots, sources said.

The Bakersfield, Calif.-based client met with approximately seven agencies located mostly in Southern California before narrowing the list to JWT in Los Angeles and Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif., according to sources. There was no incumbent.

The win is the first for JWT here since president Jerry McGee assumed leadership of the 80-person shop at the start of this year from former CEO Peter Stranger. Agency representatives declined comment.

The family-owned company opted to hire an ad agency in anticipa tion of expanding its offerings, sources said. It currently sells the Shortcuts brand of ready-to-eat carrots and other packaged goods, and also provides juice bases and other raw materials to manufacturers such as Odwalla. Bolthouse is the second-largest carrot grower in the world, behind Bakersfield neighbor Grimmway Farms.

Billings on the account could not be determined. MindShare in Los Angeles is handling media, according to sources.

The client, which one source described as “the Sunkist of carrots,” could not be reached.

JWT will likely work on overall positioning for Bolthouse Farms and help to name and promote new products. The scope of the work could not be determined. Ads are expected to break in the first quarter of next year.

JWT’s other clients include Sym antec and Bandai.