Mcgarrybowen Picks Up $30-40 Mil. Kraft

NEW YORK Kraft Foods has added mcgarrybowen to its roster of agencies, handing the shop creative duties on its namesake lines of salad dressings, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, the Northfield, Ill., client confirmed on Tuesday.

Billings were not disclosed, but past spending on the brands has been in the $30-40 million range.

The independent New York agency landed the assignments after a review that also involved two Kraft roster shops: WPP Group’s JWT and Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding, both in Chicago, according to a client representative. FCB was the incumbent on Kraft salad dressings and barbecue sauce, while JWT had handled the mayonnaise.

“We challenged each agency to develop new and creative ideas for the products,” said the representative. “Mcgarrybowen offered fresh perspective.”

She would not elaborate how mcgarrybowen was tapped for the pitch.

JWT and FCB will continue to handle their other assignments for Kraft, the representative said. JWT is responsible for Oscar Mayer and some cheese products; FCB has the South Beach Diet brand, Planters snacks and Jell-O. Publicis Group’s MediaVest in New York handles media duties.

The most major media spending so far this year has backed Kraft salad dressings. Through October, spending on salad dressings exceeded $20 million, compared to more than $10 million for mayo and less than $1 million for barbecue sauce, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. For 2004, the totals were nearly $30 million for salad dressings and less than $1 million each for mayo and barbecue sauce, per Nielsen.

Mcgarrybowen, whose other clients include Chase, Marriott and Verizon Communications, remains a finalist in Pfizer’s review of creative duties on Lipitor, an account with billings estimated at $60-80 million. The other contenders are JWT and Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group, both in New York. A decision is expected later this month.