The move consolidates about $105 million in U.S. media buying at D'ArCy Masius Benton & Bowles, which handles creative for such Mars brands as Milky Way, Skittles, Twix and several pet food products, some of which DMB&B wooed away from BSB. BSB, which counts Mars among its franchise accounts, is the agency for Snickers, 3 Musketeers and Uncle Ben's, among other brands.
Sources said Mars' media shift, which follows a similar move by rival Nestle, which consolidated media buying at McCann-Erickson, won't affect creative assignments, although it has been rumored that BSB is under pressure on some of its Mars business.
In addition, Mars is believed to be searching for a new marketing executive for its candy division while also evaluating some of its brands with an eye on the global marketplace, two events that could eventually lead to changes on its agency roster.
Under one scenario, Mars is look- ing to align global creative responsi- bilities for certain brands at a single worldwide agency. For example, Un- cle Ben's, which is currently handled by BSB in the U.S. and Australia and DMB&B in Europe, is said to be one brand Mars is looking to consolidate. The Mars media shakeup comes as BSB Worldwide president and coo Michael Bungey is hustling to get the agency's management ranks in order. Top of mind is filling the U.S. presi- dency post, which opened up recently when Kenneth Rogers moved to head up multinational accounts.
Sources identified former Dancer Fitzgerald Sample executive and recent Sara Lee advertising consultant Gary Susnjara as a key contender to succeed Rogers. However, those talks have broken off and sources said BSB has not yet found a successor.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)