Bob Fellows, director of media for Sara Lee Corp. would only say last week that 'We are looking at our resources in media buying.'
A source close to Sara Lee said both agencies have presented plans to Fellows and are awaiting word as to how the assignments will be split. The source said that both agencies will still handle portions of the business, but how it is split is still up in the air.
'At the most, it will be split 75-25 or 80-20. Neither one will pick up all of it,' the source said.
The AOR system is another step in Sara Lee's plan to centralize some of its marketing activity. Sara Lee's units, which include separate companies such as Hanes, L'eggs, Hillshire Farms and Bryan, have traditionally been very decentralized. Two years ago, Sara Lee consolidated its food-side advertising with Lintas after having it spread out among a number of agencies for years. Just last spring, Sara Lee hired former Saatchi executive Gary Susnjara as its new vp/marketing to coordinate all marketing activities.
'Historically, there has been little corporate staff in this company,' said one source. 'These additions were made to run things better.'
Currently, media buying and planning is handled largely by the creative shops that handle the respective creative assignments.
Other major packaged goods firms recently have undertaken media consolidations in an effort to gain greater clout. Procter & Gamble in 1991 consolidated its $750 million national TV media buying assignment with D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/N.Y. and Wells Rich Greene BDDP/N.Y. DMB&B also was the beneficiary of a $200-million national TV consolidation by Grand Metropolitan in 1991.
Table shows Sara Lee ad spending by unit for 1/92-9/92.
SARA LEE CORP.'S MEDIA SPENDING
Food Lines Spending(*) Agency
Sara Lee Bakery, $42.0 Lintas
Hillshire Farms, Ball Park Franks Bryan Foods 3.0 Ogilvy & Mather
Soft goods Hanes Her Way, 23.0 Long, Haymes & Carr
Hanes underwear Hanes, Hanes Too 7.6 DFS Dorland
L'eggs 13.0 Saatchi & Saatchi
Champion athletic 7.0 Rumrill-Hoyt sportswear
Source: LNA (*) in millions
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)