Smithfield Foods Consolidates Media at Mindshare

Meat brands include John Morrell, Eckrich

Smithfield Foods, known for its packaged-meat brands like John Morrell and Eckrich, has consolidated its U.S. media planning and buying at Mindshare. The GroupM media network won the business after a six-month review that included other undisclosed contenders.

The shift follows the Smithfield, Va., company’s strategy to focus on 12 core consumer brands for future growth. Mindshare, which will base the business at its Chicago office, is working on behalf of brands for the company’s three U.S. consumer products units, Smithfield Packing, John Morrell Food Group and Farmland Foods.

Ad spending for the assignment could not immediately be determined. However, in releasing the company’s fiscal 2013 first-quarter results yesterday, president, CEO C. Larry Pope underscored Smithfield’s intent to boost marketing investment.  In a statement, he said, “We continue to invest in advertising with double-digit increases in consumer marketing spending to drive brand growth and remain committed to building a strong innovation pipeline.”

He cited the recent launch of the company’s Farmland Oven Perfect pork line, which is supported by a campaign including TV, print, online advertising and social media integration.

Mindshare said this is the first time Smithfield is buying media with one agency across the meat company's major operating units. There were multiple undisclosed incumbents on the business.