Last Quaker Oats Biz at Element 79 in Play

NEW YORK PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats is reviewing the last of its business at Omnicom Group’s Element 79, five months after reassigning Gatorade and Tropicana to sisters shops TBWA\Chiat\Day and Arnell Group, respectively.

The brands in play are Quaker’s namesake oatmeal, snack bars and rice cakes, Rice-A-Roni, Near East, Cracker Jack, Aunt Jemima, Cap’n Crunch and Life, according to a company representative. Collectively, those brands spent nearly $190 million in major measured media last year and about $95 million in the first half of 2008, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The Chicago-based client has contacted a handful of other Omnicom shops on the Pepsi roster to pitch the business, said the rep, who declined to identify them. Quaker hopes to reassign the business by year’s end.

Besides TBWA\C\D and Arnell, other Omnicom shops that work for Pepsi include BBDO, DDB and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Element 79, a one-office shop in Chicago, had handled the brands since the agency’s inception in 2001. The shop was established to take on Quaker/PepsiCo business that exited FCB after Interpublic Group acquired FCB parent True North. Coca-Cola was a major client of IPG, prompting PepsiCo to look for a new home.

Once completed, the shift would eliminate Element 79 from the PepsiCo roster.

Early in the year, before Gatorade and Tropicana exited, the agency lost three other PepsiCo brands: Tostitos (from the client’s Frito-Lay division), Propel Fitness Water and Lays (also part of Frito-Lay). Tostitos and Propel landed at Goodby and Lays went to Juniper Park in Toronto, a subsidiary of BBDO.

Collectively, those brands spent $180 in major measured media last year, per Nielsen.

Last year’s major media spending on Gatorade and Tropicana totaled $210 million, with Gatorade accounting for $180 million of that, according to Nielsen.

Element 79’s other clients include ConAgra Foods (Parkay, Fleischmann’s, Reddi Wip), Alberto-Culver (VO5, Mrs. Dash), Armour-Eckrich (Armour, Eckrich, Healthy Ones) and Celebrity Cruises.