Mullen’s Sweet Tooth

Agencies frequently have to grapple with conflicts of interest. Usually, the clients in question make computers, cars or alcoholic beverages. Mullen, however, may be the first agency to be caught in such a sticky situation over a pair of chocolatiers.
The shop in Wenham, Mass., recently broke a national print campaign for Hebert Candies, Shrewsbury, Mass., using the line, “Making chocolate the old-fashioned way since 1917.” [Adweek, April 3].
This week, Dan’s Chocolates, Watertown, Mass., is launching its first work from Mullen, a $2 million radio blitz themed “Great chocolate. Good will.” The ads tout a two-week chocolate tasting extravaganza. Each day during the promotion, Dan’s will offer the first 10,000 visitors to its site a six-piece sampler for a $1 donation. The company hopes to donate $100,000 to an array of nonprofit partners, including CARE, Project Bread and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Mullen staffers, perhaps wisely, declined to disclose which confections will be sent to clients at holiday time. Presumably, they intend to continue working for both and savor the delicious irony as long as possible.
–David Gianatasio