Joan, Erich & Kallman and The Community Win General Mills’ Project Review

By Patrick Coffee 

General Mills has concluded its five-month U.S. creative review by picking indie shops Erich & Kallman and Joan, along with Publicis multicultural agency The Community, for project-based work across its brand portfolio.

These three will now join MDC Partners’ 72andSunny and Redscout, which won the U.S. agency of record review at the end of October. All parties will collaborate with GM’s in-house creative team led by Fallon veteran and CCO Michael Fanuele. Joanne Davis Consulting managed both reviews.

Fanuele’s statement:

“In looking to round-out our roster, we met with dozens of interesting agencies and were wildly impressed by the breadth of talent out there. The industry is teeming with small agencies of every variety doing really powerful work. We’re very excited to work with these three agencies. We’re confident they’ll help us crack great creative work for our brands, and they’ll do so with ambition and generosity.”

The size of each agency’s remit is not clear. The release says, “the project-based agencies will work across General Mills’ portfolio of brands as needs arise. 72andSunny with Redscout, as previously announced, will service General Mills’ larger brands including Cheerios, Nature Valley and Yoplait.”

According to Kantar Media, GM spent around $715 million in the U.S. last year and $320 million in the first half of 2016. It seems to be following the lead of fellow conglomerates like P&G in establishing a new model: Consolidate all creative work with one holding company and hire a bunch of smaller, less-expensive shops for project work.

Regarding GM’s much-publicized diversity quotas (50 percent women, 20 percent people of color) and its new agencies, a company rep said, “They have all exhibited a strong commitment to diversity. The objective remains having meaningful conversations with our partners to ensure they understand the importance of embracing this ongoing commitment to diversity.”

The company did not name a date for the rollout of new work, but we know Joan has been on the business for some time because they named General Mills as their flagship client in the May release announcing their launch.