Updated: DDB Chicago Expands Duties on Mars, Safeway

Adds 3 Musketeers, Safeway digital assignments

Mars and Safeway have expanded their relationships with DDB's Chicago office.

Mars has shifted creative responsibilities for its 3 Musketeers candy bar to the Omnicom Group agency, Mars confirmed. The shop now handles seven Mars brands; the others are Skittles, Starburst, Milky Way, Combos, Lifesavers and Temptations, a snack treat for cats.

Media spending on 3 Musketeers exceeded $6 million last year, down from about $15 milllion in 2011 and more than $17 million in 2010, according to Nielsen. DDB succeeds UniWorld Group on the business.

For Safeway, DDB has added digital marketing assignments, including the creation of banner ads and social media content, the agency said. Safeway digital shop AKQA, however, remains on the roster, handling Web design and development, according to AKQA.

As lead agency for the supermarket chain, DDB already had the bulk of the company’s creative business. Still, digital ads are key to Safeway’s marketing efforts and the new assignments further solidifiy the shop’s standing.

Safeway’s digital spending was not available from Nielsen. Spending on other media, however, totaled more than $100 million last year, up from nearly $75 million in 2011, Nielsen reported. DDB has worked for Safeway since 2006.

DDB Chicago CEO Peter McGuiness characterized growth from existing accounts as the “backbone” of a healthy agency, though he acknowledged that such growth is "sometimes overlooked and many times viewed as less exciting than new business" wins.

McGuinness added that when an agency develops "strong creative platforms that deliver results, expanding scope and relationships is not only deserved but basic and smart."

Other accounts at DDB, Chicago, include State Farm, McDonald’s and PepsiCo brands Sierra Mist, SoBe and Aquafina.

This story has been updated to clarify the digital roles of DDB and AKQA on Safeway.