Cargill in Search of an Agency

By Scott Hume and Jennifer Comiteau

CHICAGO–The world’s largest private company is seeking an agency, but the emphasis is on capabilities rather than size.

Cargill, the $56 billion conglomerate in Wayzata, Minn., and one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of agricultural commodities, is searching for an agency to handle a new marketing program.

Agencies have received queries about the new marketing program from New York review consultant ADvice & ADvisors, which confirmed it is conducting the review for Cargill.

‘This program is a new initiative, a new way of approaching its customers for Cargill,’ said A&A partner Alan Krinsky, who declined to discuss the specifics of the program Cargill wants to launch. ‘And it’s an open book as far as approaching agencies.’

Cargill’s numerous business units work with a variety of agencies, but Krinsky said contenders for the new assignment–which are located primarily in Minneapolis and Chicago–are not limited to incumbents.

‘They are not necessarily (roster shops), they need not be agribusiness specialists, and they are not necessarily the biggest agencies,’ Krinsky said. ‘This initiative will involve lots of locations across the country, and what’s most important is that it will require multiple disciplines under one roof.’

The required capabilities include public relations, promotions, local and direct marketing, business to business, interactive and advertising, which Krinsky said would be primarily radio and print. A&A is arranging visits with the shops under consideration and could make a decision by the end of this month.

Cargill spent only $1 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting, but directed most of its efforts through agrimarketing media that are not tracked. Krinsky said the budget for the new program would be ‘substantial.’ –with Trevor Jensen

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