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Pinnacle Foods Moves Brands

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Pinnacle Foods has reassigned creative duties on four brands previously at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco.

Three of the brands -- Hungry-Man, Van de Kamp's and Mrs. Paul's - have landed at Interpublic Group's Draftfcb in New York and the fourth - Vlasic -- is now at Omnicom Group's Merkley + Partners here.

Publicis & Hal Riney, a Publicis Groupe shop, had handled the brands since 2007. The shifts came without a review.

Major media spending behind the Draftfcb business totaled about $8 million last year and Vlasic spending approached $7 million, according to the Nielsen Co. Those figures do not include online spending and Pinnacle plans to spend more on brands this year, though chief marketing officer Sally Robling declined to quantify the increase.

Vlasic represents an expansion of Merkley's relationship with Pinnacle, which dates back to 2007. The shop now handles creative duties on five brands: Duncan Hines, Mrs. Butterworth's, Aunt Jemima, Log Cabin and Vlasic. Merkley also handles media planning duties across Pinnacle's entire portfolio.

Robling credited the shop with "re-energizing" Duncan Hines and Mrs. Butterworth's and said she was "delighted" to expand the relationship.

Draftfcb has been added to the roster, though predecessor shop Foote, Cone & Belding previously worked on Hungry Man. The New York office of FCB handled the brand from 2001 to 2004 and the creative team on the business then will work on it again now: executive creative directors Sandra Greenberg and Terri Meyer.

"They had done excellent work on Hungry Man when it was growing," Robling said. So, Draftfcb was hired based on both historical ties to a key brand and strong past results, Robling said.

Some of Pinnacle's other brands, including Lender's Bagels and Armour meats, do not have lead agencies. Instead, roster shops will tackle them as needed on a project basis, Robling said.

Independent Nelson Henry in Minneapolis had handled Lender's and Armour in the past but split with Pinnacle about two years ago, according to a company representative. Pinnacle is based in Mountain Lakes, N.J.