TBWA Lands More Mars Brands

NEW YORK–TBWA Worldwide has added 14 new creative assignments from Mars around the world, including two that the New York office of TBWA\Chiat\Day will handle: Combos and an undisclosed new product launch, the agency confirmed.

CMR has not recorded spending on Combos since 1998; Billings on the new product task were not available. Sources estimate that the network will now handle $100-150 million in Mars billings worldwide.

The new business comes in the wake of TBWA’s decision to split with Cadbury, a global client that competes with Mars in confectionaries.

TBWA handled some $30-50 million in billings in six markets for Cadbury, and the London-based company is expected to launch a review to find a successor, said sources. The brands in play include Crispy Crunch, Maynards, Cadbury Creme Eggs and Caramilk.

Much of the new Mars business flows from the company’s decision to end its 52-year relationship with D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles [Adweek, May 13]. But some brands, including Whiskas in Europe, came from other shops–in this case, AMV BBDO in London. (TBWA also landed the brand in Asia, Australia and Japan.)

Separately, BBDO in Europe has added pan-European creative duties on Skittles, Cesar, Frolic, Catsan, Dolmio and Maltesers, according to sources. BBDO referred calls to the client, who could not be reached.

Other new TBWA assignments include pan-European creative duties on Chappi and Trill pet foods and organic-food brand Seeds of Change, pan-Asian duties on Starburst and Australian duties on Dolmio, Dove and Seeds of Change.

The New York office of TBWA\C\D is expected to serve as a hub for managing Mars’ global brands, such as Whiskas, said agency president Shona Seifert. Neil Davies, an executive group director on Absolut, will lead account management efforts, here.

In May, the TBWA\C\D’s Playa del Rey, Calif., office landed U.S. creative duties on Whiskas, Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change. Spending on those brands was around $50 million last year, according to CMR.