Post Cereals Picks BurnsGroup

Independent BurnsGroup in New York has added lead creative chores on Post Foods’ line of cereals, which includes brands like Grape Nuts, Honey Bunches of Oats and Shredded Wheat.

All told, ad spending behind those brands totaled more than $90 million last year and about $45 million through the first half of 2010, per Nielsen.

WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather in New York had most recently handled the assignment. (Kraft sold Post to Ralcorp Holdings in 2008.)

“We need to think and act differently to win share,” said Bart Adlam, president of Post. “The BurnsGroup is an agency of proven brand-builders who will partner with us to challenge category conventions.”

The majority of the brands follow Pebbles to BurnsGroup without a review. The shop added Pebbles, which spends about $10 million annually on ads, following a competition several months ago. The shop’s first work backing that brand breaks by month’s end.

WPP’s MediaVest handles buying chores across the brand portfolio.

BurnsGroup is led by Mike Burns, the former General Mills account director at Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi who made adland headlines in 2005. On Feb. 14 of that year, a group of 17 staffers walked out of Saatchi following Burns’ abrupt exit. Legal wrangled ensued. Burns and his group operated for two years as oneseven under IPG before the holding company pulled the plug.

BurnsGroup, formed in early 2007, has handled assignments for Gorton’s, Yellow Tail Wines, Pfizer Consumer Health and Unilever, among others.