Mars agencies impacted by global shake-up

By By David Blight | 7 June 2011
Pedigree campaign by Whybin TBWA Tequila.

EXCLUSIVE: Whybin TBWA's relationship with Mars has been terminated, while the company's relationship with SapientNitro is facing an uncertain future amid a global realignment.

Earlier today, Mars announced that it will be consolidating global creative duties with BBDO and DDB.

The TBWA and SapientNitro networks will no longer work with Mars on its global roster from September.

Locally, Whybin TBWA Tequila handles Mars Petcare brands Pedigree, Optimum and Whiskas.

Creative duties for these brands are handled out of the TBWA Melbourne office, although the Sydney office handles some work for Pedigree. Globally, these accounts are moving to BBDO. 

Meanwhile, SapientNitro handles Mars brands Dove and Schmackos. Globally, the Dove brand is moving to BBDO, while the Schmackos brand is shifting to DDB.

It is not yet clear whether DDB Australia or Clemenger BBDO will absorb these brands as a result of the global changes.

Mars said in a statement: "Mars, Incorporated announced a plan to consolidate its agency partners in support of its global brand strategy.  Under the plan, Mars will concentrate distribution of brand assignments between existing partners, BBDO and DDB."

A Mars Australia spokesperson told AdNews: "We won't know what it means for Australia for another couple of months."

As a result of the global realignment, BBDO will continue to handle responsibility for Mars, Snickers, M&M's, Cesar, Sheba, Five, Orbit, Extra, Dolmio, Uncle Ben's, Masterfoods, Seeds of Change, Suzi Wan and Royco brands.

The network will also take on responsibility for the Dove, Twix, Pedigree and Whiskas brands.

DDB will continue to manage Airwaves, and will take on responsibility for Wrigley's Starburst and Wrigley's Skittles.

The agency will also take on Mars Chocolate brands including Milky Way, Combos and Balisto. For Mars Petcare, DDB will handle Kitekat, Chappi, Catsan, Frolic, Schmackos and Temptations/Dreamies.

Globally, SapientNitro will continue to handle some digital strategy work. 

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