Nestlé Looks Beyond McCann on 3 Brands

McCann Erickson finds itself on the defensive with another key client.

According to sources, Nestlé, a top five global client that supplies more than $60 million in worldwide revenue to McCann Worldgroup, is in the late stages of a search for new creative ideas on three brands: Nescafé, Nesquik and Nespresso.

McCann is lead agency on the brands and its defense represents the latest test for Nick Brien, worldwide CEO of the agency and the larger Worldgroup. Since April, when Brien succeeded John Dooner, the interpublic Group shop has lost U.S creative duties on Verizon Wireless and pan-European duties on General Motors’ Opel. In the case of Nestlé, though, the company seeks new campaigns; as such, McCann’s status as a global roster agency is not at risk, said sources.

Sources also said that Nestlé is considering ideas from several shops on each brand, including McCann, and fellow IPG agencies Lowe; The Martin Agency; Gotham; and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. On Nescafé, however, the company is looking beyond IPG, with longtime roster shop Publicis—a unit of rival Publicis Groupe—pitching concepts, along with McCann and Gotham, said sources.

Sources identified the agencies involved on Nesquik as McCann, Gotham and Hill, Holliday; and those on Nespresso as McCann, Martin and Lowe. The agencies either declined to comment or could not be reached.

McCann referred questions to its parent, IPG, which said in a statement: “We do not comment on client business. However, we commonly bring a range of agency resources and ideas to bear on behalf of our most important global clients and we do so on a proactive basis.”

Nestlé, which is based in Vevey, Switzerland, did not return calls or e-mails. The search process is ongoing and is expected to stretch into January, sources said.

Global media spending on Nescafé, Nesquik and Nespresso could not be ascertained. In the U.S alone last year, Nestlé spent nearly $19 million, $12 million and less than $1 million, respectively, on Nescafé, Nesquik and Nespresso, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

Nesquik and Nescafé are among Nestlé’s most recognizable brands. Nespresso—the company’s line of coffee machines and coffee—has grown in part through the development of a boutique by the same name. The boutique is part café, part retail store, and sells light foods and coffee by the cup as well as expresso machines. Nestle now has more than 200 such boutiques worldwide, including 10 in the U.S., according to Nespresso.com.