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Smithfield Foods Hires New Creative Shop

Shift covers Smithfield, Gwaltney brands

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Doner is getting into the pork business.

The Southfield, Mich.-based agency has landed creative responsibilities on Smithfield Foods' namesake brand as well as the company’s Gwaltney line of bacon, hot dogs, lunchmeat, sausage and ribs.

Doner succeeds Lawler Ballard Van Durand in Atlanta on the account, which will be led by evp and brand leader Cindy Kenety, who also manages the agency’s Bush’s Best and Perkins accounts.

The assignment came after a review in which The Richards Group in Dallas and Merkley + Partners in New York were the other finalists, according to sources. Mzyme Marketing in Dallas managed the process.

Media spending on the Smithfield and Gwaltney brands totaled nearly $6 million in 2011, down from more than $7 million in 2010, according to Nielsen. In the first six months of 2012, the brands spent a combined $3 million in media. Those figures exclude online spending.

In hiring Doner, Smithfield vp of marketing Will Brunt cited the MDC Partners agency’s history of creating “successful campaigns that utilize fully integrated thinking.”

Media planning and buying responsibilities were not in play and remain at WPP Group’s Mindshare in New York.

Other Doner accounts include Chrysler (dealer, retail advertising), Minute Maid, Serta, Sherwin-Williams and The UPS Store. MDC took a minority stake in the agency earlier this year.