Hasbro Gives $80-100 Mil. Toy Business to DDB

A creative presentation that focused on the Action Man action figure helped DDB Worldwide win the toy business consolidation from Hasbro last week, sources said.

The New York shop, which has been struggling to win new business for much of the year, landed the estimated $80-100 million account after the client reviewed the agencies that handled its toy products.

Grey Worldwide, which has handled Hasbro business since 1977, and rotter•kantor, which has handled toys in the OddzOn division Hasbro bought in 1997, were also considered.

DDB was not on that roster, but its sister agency, Griffin Bacal, also owned by Omnicom Group, has handled Hasbro toy brands for more than two decades.

DDB New York president John Berg led the pitch from the account side, while DDB’s U.S. chief creative officer, Bob Scarpelli, led the creative effort, sources said.

Since August, Scarpelli has been dividing his time between Chicago, where he is based, and New York, following the departures of co-executive creative directors Steve Landsberg and David Nathanson.

Sources said Brian Goldner, president of Hasbro’s toy unit, insisted on presentations lasting no longer than one hour. He will also require the agency’s production budget for each TV spot not to exceed $80,000. The average production cost for a 30-second TV spot is about $150,000, sources said.

An announcement about the consolidation is expected to be released today.

Grey, Griffin Bacal and Jordan McGrath Case & Partners Euro RSCG are expected to retain the various Hasbro games products they hold now, sources said.

Neither Hasbro officials nor executives at the agencies could be reached for comment at press time.

It was unclear how media buying—currently shared by Omnicom’s Optimum Media Direction and Grey’s MediaCom—would be handled. Some sources said it would likely be put into OMD; others said MediaCom would retain its share of the media.