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Grey Lands Smucker's

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NEW YORK -- When Procter & Gamble began selling its Jif and Crisco brands to the J.M. Smucker Co. last fall, Grey worked hard to retain the accounts. The shop not only held on to them, but with sibling MediaCom, also snapped up creative and media duties for Smucker's.

The consolidation came without a review after months of lobbying by Grey New York president Steve Blamer, who touted the shop's "village" structure to woo the client. (In early 2001, he rearranged Grey into 10 "villages" or boutique agencies.)

"We talked about how we approach business from the village point of view," Blamer said of the Smucker's win, which was claimed by the Buzz Grey unit. "It's a family-run company. Buzz Grey talked about the 'family' of their village and how that intimate structure benefits clients."

Combined billings for the business are estimated at $40 million, taking into account the Orrville, Ohio-based client's plans to boost spending on Jif and Crisco [Adweek, Oct. 15]. Smucker's spent $10 million on U.S. media last year, according to CMR; P&G during that time spent $5 million on Crisco and $10 million on Jif.

Grey, here, has handled Jif for more than 30 years and Crisco for 15.

Chicago Creative Partnership was the two-year incumbent on Smucker's. New Smucker's work is expected later this year and will continue the 40-year-old tagline, "With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good," Blamer said.

As a result of the shop's wins in the last 90 days (BellSouth, Clairol, Milky Way and more Seagram's work), Blamer said the network seeks to fill 66 jobs in New York and Atlanta.The Smucker's purchase of Jif and Crisco becomes final in April.