Godiva Goes Into Play

NEW YORK Premium chocolatier Godiva is putting the creative portion of its global advertising account into review, sources said, and has ended a longstanding relationship with Margeotes Fertitta Powell.

The New York shop, part of the MDC Partners network, has held the U.S. assignment for 28 years, and picked up global duties following a pitch in April 2005.

In a statement, MFP CEO Michael Kantrow said, “We’ve re-pitched the Godiva business and retained the account twice in the past three-and-a-half years. And, at this point in time, we’ve decided it’s in the best interest of MFP to apply our energies and focus to a number of other major business development opportunities in progress. Godiva’s been a longstanding client and partnership for the agency and we wish them the very best as they move into the future.”

Godiva executives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sources said a review would now be held for creative chores, but it could not be determined if the client has begun contacting shops. (The Belgium-based chocolatier is a unit of Campbell Soup Co.)

The client spent $7 million in U.S. measured media in 2005 and $2 million in the first six months of 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Estimated global billings were $12 million when Godiva reviewed last year [Adweek Online, April 14, 2005].

Recent work for the client included last year’s “Diva” campaign, a print and outdoor effort that targeted women 30 and under by equating Godiva chocolates with luxury products featured in upscale magazines. Copy played on the word “Diva” as part of the Godiva name.

When MFP added the global portion of the business last year, Kantrow referred to Godiva as “one of our favorite and most important clients,” and said the win showed “that we have the firepower here” to execute a global campaign.

The agency also parted with SunCom Wireless this summer. The Southern telecom company, which had worked with MFP since 1998, called a review of its $25 million account in July, and the agency said it would not defend.