Ben & Jerry’s Comes In From The Cold At Mckinney

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., a brand that has become a synonym for socially conscious but sinful indulgence, has dished out its in-house advertising account to McKinney & Silver of Raleigh, N.C., without a review.
Previously, Ben & Jerry’s handled the entire account in-house. In 1996, the ice cream maker alloted less than $1 million on advertising, according to Competitive Media Reporting. In the first seven months of 1998, however, it has spent $2 million, primarily in print.
Ben & Jerry’s has not yet employed television, although the client said it is looking into that possibility. Now that it has its first agency, sources said the firm is ready to invest in the brand.
Client official Rob Michalak said last week that the South Burlington, Vt., company has been working with McKinney since a summer campaign, and that it has just completed an evaluation of the agency as it looks to the future.
“We’ve worked with McKinney & Silver over the past few months on a radio campaign,” he said. “We felt they quickly understood our unique brand and culture and could play an important role as our partner in the future.”
“Ben & Jerry’s is one of the most powerful brands out there today,” said Don Maurer, president and chief executive officer of McKinney & Silver. “Their ice cream as well as their values are second to none, which is why they’ve built such a deep and devoted customer following.”
Along with making changes in its advertising, Ben & Jerry’s has also hired a new chief marketing officer, Larry Benders, who will start next week, according to a company official.
The client had held exploratory talks with agencies over the last year and a half. For most of that time, however, it did not seriously consider putting its corporate ad account in play.