Updated: 2 Kraft Brands Shift to Mcgarry

NEW YORK Kraft Foods is shifting creative duties on its Kraft Singles and Philadelphia Cream Cheese brands to mcgarrybowen, thereby eliminating Nitro from its roster of agencies, the client has confirmed.

Major media spending on the brands totaled $40 million last year: $25 million on Singles and $15 million on Philly, according to The Nielsen Co. Those figures do not include online spending.

Nitro joined the Kraft roster in 2007, when it landed Singles after a review. That brand had been at WPP Group’s JWT in Chicago before that. Philadelphia Cream Cheese also came out of JWT Chicago. Nitro won that business last year after a review.

A Kraft representative attributed the shift to “strategic and creative changes on the brands,” adding, “This certainly was a difficult decision. But we need to make those tough business calls to ensure that our marketing and advertising best aligns with our brand strategies.”

Nitro also helped redesign of Kraft’s corporate logo, a project that concluded with the unveiling of a new logo in February. Several blogs subsequently criticized the design, saying it resembled Yoplait’s brand mark. Asked if Kraft’s split with Nitro had anything to do with the logo flap, the rep said, “Not at all.”

Dentsu’s mcgarrybowen, which did not return calls, joined the Kraft roster in early 2006 and now handles more than a half-dozen brands, including Miracle Whip and Kraft’s namesake mayonnaise, salad dressings and barbecue sauce. The business is based in the shop’s Chicago office.

Reflecting on the latest assignments, the Kraft rep said: “We are confident they will deliver breakthrough ideas that resonate with consumers and help drive sales of these iconic brands.”

Nitro’s most recent work for Kraft Singles is a TV spot that touts the brand’s affordability and a ticket promotion with minor league baseball.

That spot broke last week. In February, Nitro launched a TV campaign for Philly Cream Cheese that depicts modern day “fairy tales” and uses the tagline, “Snack happily ever after.”

This story updates and replaces an item posted yesterday with client comments and additional details.