McCann Gets Pillsbury Business [UPDATED]

Takes a bite out of Saatchi's General Mills portfolio

In a roster shop move, General Mills has hired McCann Erickson to work on its Pillsbury brand, which Saatchi & Saatchi has handled since 2003.

McCann and Saatchi declined to comment. But in an internal email to staffers, McCann wordwide CEO Harris Diamond said that "one of our key global clients, General Mills, has assigned the Pillsbury U.S. domestic business to us."

Diamond further described the win as a "vote of confidence from the senior management at General Mills."

A General Mills representative downplayed the hire, however, describing McCann's business as a "small assignment." When asked—via email—for more specifics, the rep replied, "We don’t normally discuss our advertising assignments. But this is a relatively small assignment."

All told, the brand spent nearly $118 million in media last year, the bulk of which—$105 million—went toward TV, according to Kantar.

Other General Mills business at McCann includes brands like Nature Valley and Hamburger Helper and assignments from Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture of General Mills and Nestlé.

General Mills is one of Saatchi's largest accounts in its New York office. And while the McCann hire puts a dent in Saatchi's General Mills portfolio, the agency continues to handle a bevy of company brands, including Cheerios, Wheaties, Lucky Charms, Green Giant, Progresso and Fruit by the Foot.