Parent Consolidating; Cheese Licensee Looking
CHICAGO–Two unrelated agency reviews involving the Borden name are under way.
Borden Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, said it will consolidate creative duties on its Borden Foods division’s estimated $15 million account at one of its three incumbent agencies. Corinthian Media in New York will retain media placement responsibility.
Creative duties are currently split among Bozell, New York, which handles pasta sauces such as the Classico brand; Grey Advertising, New York, agency for its soup and bouillon category that includes the Wyler’s, Soup Starter and Mrs. Grass brands; and Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis, which handles Borden’s dry pasta products, marketed under the Creamette, Prince, R-F and other brands.
“We are not dissatisfied with any of our agencies,” a Borden representative said. “We simply have determined that we can gain efficiencies through consolidating our advertising with a single agency.”
No timetable has been set for presentations; no decision is likely “for several months,” the company representative said.
Separately, Dairy Farmers of America is seeking an agency to handle its Borden cheese account. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which acquired Borden in 1995, last December divested the dairy business to DFA, a 22,000-member dairy cooperative headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. DFA gained a manufacturing plant and rights to use the Borden name on cheese and a license to use Borden’s “Elsie the Cow” icon on dairy products.
The review has been narrowed to four agencies. Jim Montel, DFA vice president of marketing, declined to identify finalists, although he confirmed that one is in Chicago. The winning shop will create advertising that taps continuing consumer familiarity with the Elsie trademark.
Sources said DFA, which had 1997 sales of $3.8 billion, intends to spend upwards of $15 million annually on cheese advertising.
“We’re looking first for creative capabilities; second for integrated marketing expertise,” Montel said. “We know there is latent equity in the Elsie brand. It continues to be one of the most recognized dairy names, which is why the license was valuable [to DFA].”
The finalists may be asked to make another presentation, Montel said. A decision is expected before the end of the year, with new ads to break in February.