Mars Shifts Creative on Key Brands

Mars is shifting creative duties on key brands to ensure that each has a single agency in major markets, sources said.

The shifts include brands such as Snickers, Whiskas, Dove chocolates and Mars, according to sources.

The Snickers move will result in Omnicom Group’s BBDO regaining the U.S. duties that it lost to sister shop TBWA\Chiat\Day in 2006, said sources. The brand’s major media spending typically ranges between $30-40 million annually.

The loss is a blow to TBWA\C\D’s New York office, for which Snickers had been a significant creative platform. BBDO also is believed to be adding duties in overseas markets on the Mars bar, which it handles elsewhere, including in the U.S., where the confection is marketed as Milky Way. At the same time, Sapient’s Nitro is expected to add creative duties on Dove in markets now handled by TBWA.

TBWA, meanwhile, is gaining duties in non-U.S. markets such as Latin America on Whiskas, a brand it already handles domestically, said sources. (BBDO now handles Whiskas in Latin America.) TBWA retains its lead global agency status on Pedigree.

The shifts don’t affect Mars’ other major roster shop, Omnicom’s DDB, which remains lead agency on several Wrigley brands that Mars acquired last year. As part of the deal, Chicago-based Wrigley became a standalone subsidiary of Mars.

The agencies either declined to comment or could not be reached late Monday. But sources expect Mars to reveal its shifts in a statement on Tuesday.

Nielsen Business Media