Perdue Finalizing Hispanic Agency Search

NEW YORK Perdue, one of the nation’s largest poultry distributors, is nearing the end of its search for a Hispanic agency to market and advertise its Perdue Farms brand to Latinos.

The Salisbury, Md.-based privately held, family-run company confirmed that its marketing department was visiting finalists this week at their offices in Miami and New York. Sources said Miami-based del Rivero Messianu DDB and SiboneyUSA and New York shops Wing Latino and Ole are candidates for the account.

It was not clear whether the winner will function as an agency of record, but work won from the review process will include more than just one campaign, sources said.

In early December, Perdue sent out requests for proposals to 12 agencies selected by search consultant Select Resources International. SRI then narrowed the list of candidates to the four agencies.

The No. 1 brand of fresh chicken on the East Coast, Perdue ranks third in national sales, according to the company.

Interpublic Group’s Lowe in New York has handled general market duties for Perdue Farms since 1971. Its ads feature CEO Jim Perdue and humorously depict his passion for chicken.

In 2004, the company sold some 48 million pounds of yellow chicken products and nearly 4 million pounds of turkey products each week, according to Hoover’s.

Until now, Perdue has not spent money to market in the Hispanic sphere. Perdue spent $11 million in 2003 on general market measured media and $15 million through October 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Perdue’s decision to invest in Hispanic marketing comes six months after Tyson Foods began its $75 million general market campaign to drive sales of its consumer meats and poultry by promoting them as great sources of protein. That campaign includes a $12 million Hispanic component developed by Houston-based independent Lopez Negrete Communications.

According to research Lopez Negrete conducted for Tyson last year, Hispanics are 11 percent more likely than general market consumers to buy and eat fresh whole chicken, 70 percent more likely to eat Cornish hen and 35 percent more likely than general market shoppers to buy frozen chicken nuggets.