Artificial sweetener brand Splenda appointed JWT Canada as its creative agency of record for North America, AdAge reports. J3 remains the brand’s media agency, with Publicis Health Media and BSTRO handling digital and LaForce & Stevens responsible for PR.
The agency will lead the account out of its Toronto office, beginning June 1. BBDO had previously handled creative AOR duties for the brand in North America, after beating out JWT, Mother and DDB in a 2007 review to win what was then a $35 million account. Heartland Food Products Group purchased the Splenda brand from Johnson & Johnson last summer.
Splenda global VP of marketing Kim Holdsworth said the brand had an “immediate connection” with the agency, which stood out via its willingness to “challenge brands to push themselves.”
The appointment marks the first time (to our knowledge) that a JWT office in North America has won a creative review since JWT’s chief communications officer Erin Johnson filed a discrimination lawsuit against former JWT global chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez. JWT New York was awarded creative duties for Nestlé-owned ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs back in March before launching its first work for the brand last month, and Holdsworth told AdAge the brand had “no concerns” over the discrimination lawsuit.
JWT Toronto CCO Ryan Spelliscy claimed the agency’s goal for the brand is to “put sugar out of business” before admitting that this is a bit of a tall order.
JWT’s first work for the brand, a new product launch, is expected some time in the fourth quarter. It will roll out in the U.S. before expanding to Canada.