We Hear: General Mills to Pick 1 of 5 Agencies As Its New U.S. AOR This Week

By Patrick Coffee Comment

General Mills officially launched a U.S. creative agency review in July, and we hear that several New York-area agencies are biting their nails this week as they wait for the decision to come down. Multiple parties tell us the news is expected to break by the end of this week.

None of the shops that we contacted agreed to discuss the matter, but very reliable sources tell us that there were actually two separate reviews: one was a “foundational” pitch for the main business, which will presumably involve agency of record status; the other concerned special project-based assignments for smaller “boutique” shops.

According to our sources, the five invited to the closed review were Mother New York, McCann New York, Deutsch, 72andSunny and a Publicis conglomerate represented by Fallon, whose former CSO Michael Fanuele is now GM’s creative chief. The client reached out to at least one other prominent New York agency that declined to participate a la MTV.

It’s not clear which brands the winning agencies will handle, exactly, but insiders tell us that the five shops mentioned had to present creative for the same two: Yoplait and Nature Valley bars. We haven’t received any information on the boutique portion of the review, which could include almost anyone.

Wieden + Kennedy has handled Yoplait since last year and McCann runs Nature Valley; according to our sources W+K was not involved in the pitch.

Which agency will win? More importantly, how will the winner ensure that its creative department is 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color??

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