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Mazola Taps Lapiz for Cooking Oil Biz

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NEW YORK ACH Food has hired Hispanic ad shop Lapiz, Chicago, to handle creative duties for its Mazola cooking oil business, following a review, the company confirmed.

The company also tapped media agency Tapestry, Chicago, to oversee media buying and planning.

Both agencies already have begun formulating a Spanish-language marketing program for Mazola in preparation for an ad launch in the first quarter of 2009.

"We'll be working together with them on what is the best way to reach our Latino consumers," said Bill Puentes, director of marketing at ACH Food, Memphis, Tenn.

The company's agency switch is largely a reaction to the changing marketplace, economy and consumer habits, Puentes said. "We thought it was time to do a review to ensure that we're challenging ourselves and our partners to make sure that we're the best every day," he added.

Mazola brand products include corn, canola and olive oils and no-stick cooking and vegetable sprays, which are produced and managed by ACH Food's Consumer Products Group in Oakbrook, Ill.

Lapiz (Spanish for pencil) was awarded the cooking oil business following an "open pitch" process involving four other Hispanic agencies, including the incumbent Market Vision, San Antonio, which also had handled promotional chores for four years, per ACH Food. The other three shops vying for the business were not disclosed.

Lapiz is the Hispanic unit of Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett.

Mazola's ad spending on Hispanic network and cable TV has reached $3 million through June 2008, compared with $4.2 million all of last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

"What's most exciting is that we'll be able to take a brand that already has a special place in the hearts of Latinos and lead its communication efforts here in the United States," Dolores Kunda, CEO of Lapiz, said in a statement.

Mazola joins the Lapiz client roster, which includes Allstate Insurance, JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg's and Chicago-area McDonald's restaurants.