Ralston Shops Line Up for One

Ralston Purina is talking to roster shops about creative and media planning duties on its $30 million Purina One high-end brand of dog and cat food, sources said.

The brand, which currently is at Lowe Lintas & Partners in New York, accounted for 20 percent of Purina’s nearly $140 million in ad spending last year, according to CMR.

The review is thought to be limited to roster shops. The company’s shops include Avrett Free Ginsberg in New York, which handles Cat Chow, Kitten Chow and Meow Mix; Fallon Minneapolis, which handles Dog and Puppy Chow, some treats and is handling this fall’s launch of Beneful, a healthful dog food; and Berlin Cameron & Partners which handles Tidy Cat litter.

Dailey & Associates, which handles pet food brands of Nestlé, which is in the process of acquiring Ralston, may also be involved, sources said.

Ralston’s media buying is handled by Advanswers in St. Louis.

Officials from Ralston and Nestlé roster agencies either could not be reached or declined comment.

Lowe’s recent work for the brand featured a montage of pets and their owners, with a voiceover ex-plaining why people love their pets.

Ralston spent nearly $30 million advertising its Purina One line, most of that—$23 million—was for the dog food brand, according to CMR.

Ralston Purina shareholders in May approved a sale to Nestlé Holdings for $10.3 billion. That deal is still awaiting regulatory approval.

The Swiss food conglomerate is in the process of reassessing its ad assignments at six global roster shops, including McCann-Erickson, J. Walter Thompson and Lowe Lintas & Partners [Adweek, July 2]. The Purina One review is not believed to be part of that evaluation.

Separately, Fallon’s $35 million launch campaign for Beneful breaks this week. A TV spot shows a man (who is referred to with text as a “mom”) taking care of his Jack Russell terrier and referring to it as his “little girl.” The work is tagged, “Healthful. Flavorful. Beneful.”

Print is set for October women’s, entertainment and pet enthusiast magazines. That work will focus on the brand’s colorful packaging, which shows corn on the cob, wheat shafts, beef chunks and vegetables.