Y&R Forges Alliance With Mars Advertising

NEW YORK Young & Rubicam has forged a global strategic alliance with Mars Advertising, a Southfield, Mich.-based retail marketing specialist that shares clients such as Pepperidge Farm and Campbell’s.

Mars, with about 300 staffers at 10 offices in North America, also has worked for GlaxoSmithKline and Hewlett-Packard and retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Safeway and Kroger.

The alliance will enable WPP Group’s Y&R to offer retail marketing services to its clients and give Mars, an independent agency, access to a broader array of potential clients. Initially, the focus will be on North America, though long term Y&R offers Mars a platform for expanding its reach to other markets.

Working with Mars — “particularly in our current economic environment where all eyes are on the shopper — protects brands from competing solely on price, while offering greater values and [return-on-investment] than ever before,” said Y&R worldwide CEO Hamish McLennan.

Mars CEO Ken Barnett (shown above) said, “By combining and expanding resources, our client service teams will be better able to bridge the gap between shopper insights and the development of communications solutions for both brands and retailers.”

Details on how the alliance will work day-to-day were not immediately available.