Kraft Shifts Crackers to Euro RSCG

NEW YORK Kraft has awarded North American creative duties on its estimated $70 million cracker business to Euro RSCG here following a review, the client has confirmed.

The brands awarded to the Havas agency are Ritz, Toasted Chips and Triscuits. A new campaign is expected in the fall.

Other contenders for the business were Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB and WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, both in New York, according to sources.

Media duties, handled by Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest in Chicago, were not in play.

“We are thrilled with this news,” said Euro RSCG global CEO David Jones, in a statement. “This is a terrific win for the agency. Ritz is one of America’s great icon brands. The team at Kraft wanted a big integrated idea that will drive growth and I’m delighted we were able to deliver that for them.”

The cracker business is one of three lines totaling $200 million in media spending that Kraft recently moved out of WPP’s JWT in Chicago. Lunchables ($40 million) shifted to DraftFCB in April, while Oscar Mayer meats, Grey Poupon mustard and Kraft Singles remain under review.

A client representative said those brands would be assigned by summer’s end.

The loss of Kraft business for JWT was quickly followed by a management shake-up at the Chicago office. Chicago president Ros King will shift to the agency’s London office at the end of July, and ecd Graham Woodall will leave shortly, the agency said late last month. King has been president since September 2005 and Woodall has led the creative department since June 2004.

New York co-presidents Rosemarie Ryan and Ty Montague will now oversee the Chicago office.