Vitro, Baskin Go Separate Ways

LOS ANGELES VitroRobertson and ice cream shop chain Baskin-Robbins have split on the creative portion of the client’s estimated $12 million account.

Agency ecd John Vitro said “creative differences” precipitated the breakup. The San Diego-based agency will wind down work on the business over the next 90 days. Client officials could not be reached for comment.

Media chores on Canton, Mass.-based Baskin are with Interpublic Group agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. (Dunkin’ Donuts, a Baskin sibling, ranks among Hill, Holliday’s flagship clients.) Independent Connelly Partners in Boston recently worked for Baskin on in-store and collateral projects, an assignment worth $500,000-1 million.

“We feel we have reached a point where our respective strategic and creative visions are no longer compatible,” said John Vitro. “This is an exciting time for Baskin under new ownership, and we wish them the very best of luck in their efforts to continue building upon the success of this truly great, historic brand.” A consortium of private equity firms bought Dunkin’ (as well as the Baskin and Togo’s sandwich shop units) for $2.4 billion last December from Pernod Ricard. The three chains have 12,000 combined locations worldwide.

The shop added the Baskin assignment six years ago from IPG’s Deutsch/LA in Playa del Rey, Calif.

After numerous management changes, Baskin launched a review in 2003—the agency held onto the business.

The latest campaign includes product-focused print with a pink spoon serving as a brand icon.

Creative director K.T. Thayer and design director Mike Brower, who led creative efforts on Baskin, have been reassigned to other accounts, and there will be no layoffs at the shop.

The agency continues to work on Asics shoes, Cobra Golf, Kyocera Wireless, Newcastle Brown Ale and Yahama watercraft, among others.