Kraft Foods seeks global media agency for new snacks company

September 04, 2012  |  Alexandra Bruell and E.J. Schultz for Advertising Age  |  Comments

Kraft Foods is searching for a global media planning and buying agency for Mondelez International, a newly formed snack company that starting Oct. 1 will concentrate on such brands as Oreo and Trident.

The review comes as the company is finalizing efforts to divide its business and birth two new companies with separate leadership teams.

“This is part of our journey towards becoming a global snacks powerhouse,” a spokeswoman told Ad Age in an email. “Europe is the first region to start the process. We’re still finalizing our plans for other regions.”

Mondelez International will house brands such as Oreo, Cadbury and Trident. The other company, to be called Kraft Foods Group, will include mostly North American grocery brands, such as Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House and Planters.

Kraft announced the split last year in an attempt to bring more focus to its brands. Dana Anderson, Kraft Foods’ senior VP-marketing strategy and communications, will join CEO Irene Rosenfeld, and chief marketing officer Mary Beth West in her role at Mondelez when the split is final.

Publicis Groupe‘s MediaVest is currently handling media for all of the snack brands that will fall within Mondelez in North America. Earlier this year, Kraft Foods reassigned the media business for North American grocery brands to sister agency Starcom to create a firewall between the two businesses that will now compete with each other.

That move was symbolic of Starcom MediaVest Group’s historic approach to managing conflicts. For example, the company moved Mars Wrigley from MediaVest to Starcom when Kraft, a MediaVest client at the time, acquired Cadbury.

With regards to the media pitch, the Kraft spokeswoman told Ad Age the company is looking for a “fresh media approach” for Mondelez that “addresses the key differences in the way we will do business” compared with the grocery brands. Factors include a heavier focus on developing markets and Europe, a stronger focus on young adults and a “global approach to media management to help us better address global, regional and local opportunities and deliver value to our brands.”

She added: “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been raising the bar with our creative agencies to respond to the changing marketing and communications landscape. In order to better engage with consumers and shoppers, we want to make our media approach as creative as our creative is.”

The brands that will sit within Mondelez had a combined $1.86 billion in worldwide ad spending on about $35.7 billion in sales in 2011, putting spending at about 5.21% of sales, according to Ad Age‘s analysis of information in regulatory filings. The brands that will make up Kraft Foods, on the other hand, accounted for $535 million in ad expenses on $18.65 billion in sales.

But in the U.S., the top grocery brands appear to outspend the top Mondelez brands. Among Kraft Foods’ top 20 U.S. mega brands, 12 will be housed with Kraft Foods Group, accounting for $469.1 million in advertising spending in 2011, including the “Kraft” brand, which alone had $95.3 million in spending, and Oscar Mayer, which had $78.9 million. Mondelez will be home to eight of the top-spending U.S. megabrands, accounting for $203 million, including Trident, which had $53.2 million.

At Mondelez, a key media executive will be Bonin Bough, VP-global media and consumer engagement. Bough is the former senior director-digital and social media at PepsiCo. At Kraft Foods Group, a key media player will be Debra Berman, VP-marketing strategy & engagement.

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