Pinnacle Brands Shift to TBWA\C\D

Pinnacle Foods has shifted creative duties on its frozen food brands just two months after hiring Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners as lead agency for the business, the client has confirmed.

Picking up the account is Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, a client representative said. Major media spending on the brands, which include Birds Eye and Van de Kamp’s, exceeded $25 million last year, according to Nielsen.

Sources attributed the shift to creative differences between MDC Partners’ KBS+P and the Mountain Lakes, N.J.-based client.

KBS+P, whose New York office handled the assignment, declined to comment. In a statement, Pinnacle said that it was “very impressed with the skills and insights of KBS+P throughout” the client’s previous pitch process. “However, we found the ensuing ongoing relationship to not meet our needs.”

Birds Eye is the biggest brand in the portfolio, in terms of media spending. Last year’s total approached $20 million, according to Nielsen. The next biggest spender was Van de Kamp’s, at almost $5 million, per Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

The company’s other frozen food brands include Mrs. Paul’s, Swanson, Hungry Man and Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes and waffles. Collectively, those brands spend just $232,000 in media last year, according to Nielsen. KBS+P landed the Pinnacle account in July.

At the same time, Pinnacle selected Omnicom’s BBDO in New York as the new creative agency for its dry grocery goods (Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Aunt Jemina).

Before the review, Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners in New York handled dry goods creative, and Draftfcb, independent Northlich in Cincinnati and Merkley split frozen foods duties.

TBWA\C\D was not among the finalists for the frozen foods business but knows Pinnacle CEO Bob Gamgort well from his days as North American president of Mars, a key TBWA\C\D client. The agency also was on Pinnacle’s long list during its review and has a solid track record at developing big ideas for brands, the rep said. TBWA\C\D declined to comment.