Krispy Kreme Picks Mullen

Mullen said its office in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been hired as its lead ad agency in North America for doughnut and coffee chain Krispy Kreme following a review.
Spending has not been determined, a Mullen representative said. The agency will handle creative development as well as media planning and buying.
The Interpublic Group shop’s mandate covers branding and traffic building. New work is set to launch in Q1 2010.
Patrick O’Sullivan, vp, branding and new concepts at the client, said Mullen’s IPG resources allow Krispy Kreme to consolidate its needs at a single shop with the resources to handle a broad push moving forward.
John Fizgerald, president of Mullen’s Winston-Salem office, said the win gives the agency a chance to partner with an “icon” brand on the wish lists of many shops.
After a tough first half of 2009 marred by layoffs and client defections, Mullen has begun to gain some momentum, adding assignments in recent weeks from Zappos and Hoodoo Spirits, and competing in reviews for Citizens Bank and Captain D’s restaurants.

Krispy Kreme has been a troubled brand in recent years and its ad spending has been moderate, totaling about $1 million through the first three-quarters of 2009 and $700,000 in all of ’08, per Nielsen.

The company suffered a loss of $2.4 million in its most recent third fiscal quarter. That compares to a loss of $5.9 million during the same period a year ago.

Revenue in Q3 slumped 11 percent to $83.6 million, but the chain claimed operating income of $600,000, up from an operating loss of $1.3 million in the comparable period a year ago.