JWT, Y&R Will Face Off for Kraft

Kraft Foods has thinned the competition for a corporate image assignment to J. Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam, sources said.
The Philip Morris Corp. unit in May invited its six main agencies to pitch for a possible umbrella campaign to promote the Kraft name rather than individual products [Adweek, May 26]. Those presentations– covering strategies for addressing consumers with a single message through multiple communications channels–were made to Kraft executives at the company’s Northfield, Ill., headquarters late last month.
Dropped from consideration were roster shops Leo Burnett in Chicago; Grey Advertising and Ogilvy & Mather in New York; and Foote, Cone & Belding, whose Chicago and New York offices handle Kraft assignments.
Kraft executives could not be reached. JWT in Chicago and Y&R in New York declined comment.
The two remaining contenders will make additional presentations later this month, sources indicated.
Kraft Foods spent a total of about $750 million on advertising for all its brands in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The company had described the review as exploratory, without committing to launching a campaign or setting a budget, agency sources said.
While spending has not been disclosed, the importance of handling such a program goes beyond billings, according to an executive at one Kraft agency. “When several agencies work for a [client] this size, you want to be the one that handles the corporate work,” he said. –with staff reports