Masterfoods Puts Hispanic Creative in Play

DALLAS Masterfoods USA said it has placed its Hispanic creative account in review.

The news comes after Miami-based independent agency Zubi Advertising this week said it resigned its six-year Masterfoods account, claiming the marketer’s interest in targeting the Hispanic segment has declined. Evidence to that effect includes the fact that Masterfoods has not filled the position left vacant by ethnic marketing manager Roberto Garcia, who left in March.

In a statement Joe Zubizarreta, Zubi COO, said, “We are disappointed to have had to make this decision, especially with the success of all the programs we implemented for Masterfoods.”

Client vice president of marketing Michele Kessler issued a statement today saying the company’s commitment to Hispanic advertising “has increased significantly on an annual basis.” She also said Masterfoods has had “double-digit budget increases for the past two years” and plans “to nearly double Hispanic advertising spending in 2006.”

Zubizarreta could not immediately be reached for comment.

Masterfoods spent $224 million on general-market advertising through June 2005 and $4.5 million on Hispanic media during the same period, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Its brands include Snickers, M&M’s, Skittles and Twix.

Publicis Groupe’s Tapestry in Chicago handles media buying for Hackettstown, N.J.-based Masterfoods.