Mondelez Consolidates Majority of Global Creative With WPP and Publicis

IPG's The Martin Agency remains global creative lead on Oreo and U.S. lead on Ritz

Mondelez, Publicis and WPP logos
The appointments are effective Sept. 1 but will be phased in gradually. Getty Images

Global snack behemoth Mondelez has concluded a lengthy review by consolidating its global creative account with WPP and Publicis.

“Our consumer-centric focus, our purpose-driven brands and our digital ambitions need a powerful agency model to support them. We’re creating the basis for deeper strategic partnerships that give our local and global brand teams access to the best talent and best creative minds,” Mondelez International CMO Martin Renaud wrote in a statement. “By sharing best practices and leveraging data and insights more effectively, our partners will be in a better position to deliver winning creative and digital solutions, with speed, to our global and local business teams.”

“We’re excited about how we’re revolutionizing our marketing approach and energized about our new partnerships, just as we’re proud of the work and the partnerships we’ve built over years with our incumbent agencies,” he added.

Mondelez explained that the appointments are effective Sept. 1 but will be phased in gradually as brand cycles run their course for a smoother transition. All transitions are expected to be finalized by the end of 2020.

At the time of the review, consultancy R3 estimated that Mondelez spent from $800 million to $1 billion on global media spending annually.

In addition to WPP and Publicis, the review also included incumbent IPG. Each holding company deferred to the client when asked for comment.

Publicis Groupe will handle global creative for biscuits and gum divisions, with Digitas acting as lead agency network; WPP will handle chocolate, candy, powdered beverages and cheese divisions, with Ogilvy and David acting as lead agency networks, a Mondelez spokesperson confirmed to Adweek. The spokesperson also noted that IPG’s The Martin Agency will continue acting as global creative lead for Oreo and U.S. creative lead for Ritz, VCCP will continue acting as creative lead on Cadbury in the U.K. and BETC will continue as creative lead for local biscuit brands in Western Europe.

John Seifert, Ogilvy’s CEO, and Adam Tucker, the WPP and Ogilvy global client team lead and Ogilvy global lead for advertising, announced the win in an internal memo, characterizing it as an expansion of the holding company’s longtime relationship with Mondelez, which dates back to Ogilvy India’s work on the Cadbury brand in 1952. The memo also explains that Ogilvy will serve as lead creative network within the holding company via a “new agency model” that also encompasses David and INGO, while strengthening its connection to WPP media agency Wavemaker, which won portions of Mondelez’s global media account last year.

The memo quotes Mondelez vice president for global media, digital and data, Jon Halvorson, who ran the pitch process, as saying, “Mondelēz selected Ogilvy to be our flagship network because of our belief in Ogilvy’s ability to build powerful brands, their deep digital experience, pervasive creativity, and our desire to scale our substantial partnership. In Ogilvy, we see the ideal partner to lead our transformation as we’ve seen Ogilvy transform into a digital-first, modern brand builder.”

An internal memo from Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun announcing the news characterizes the conclusion of the client’s seven-month review as a large win for the holding company.

In the memo, Sadoun says that Mondelez’s biscuits division is its largest and notes that the gum division includes leading brand Trident. He attributes the win to Publicis’ “ability to bring together creative, media and technology, to drive creative experience at scale,” also noting how the holding company has “boosted our creative and media offers through data and technology” to arrive at recent successes including Novartis consolidating its global media account with the network.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.