Special K Drops Leo Burnett for JWT in the U.S.

By Erik Oster 

Kellogg is handing over U.S. creative duties for its Special K brand from Leo Burnett to JWT, AdAge reports. Pointing to an internal memo obtained by the publication, it reports that Leo Burnett will retain creative duties in Europe and Canada. JWT, meanwhile, will handle creative duties in Latin America. Leo Burnett has served as Kellogg’s lead agency for around 65 years, and will continue in that role, including working on breakfast brands like toaster pastry staple brand Pop-Tarts and cereal brand Frosted Flakes.

The loss is a sizable one for the agency, as Kellogg spent $120 million on measured media for the brand last year, according to Kantar Media. Leo Burnett’s most recent effort for the brand, “Eat Special. Feel Special.,” showed a change of approach from body positivity and presenting the cereal as diet-friendly to highlighting its nutritional benefits. But it would seem that Kellogg decided the change in direction merited a change in agency. Like many cereal brands, Special K has been struggling, with Euromonitor International reporting a 14.5% drop in sales from 2013 to 2014.

“We are incredibly proud of the contributions this agency has made to the success of Special K,” Rich Stoddart, CEO at Leo Burnett North America, stated in the internal memo obtained by AdAge. “In a little over a decade, we helped build the business from $412 million to almost $3 billion. I’m proud of the smart and strategic work the team developed to help the brand address its current business challenges. We put great work on the table, but in the end, Kellogg bought an idea from JWT that tested better.”