General Mills Drops DDB

04 May 2001

In a bid to align its ad duties globally, food manufacturer General Mills has parted company with DDB Chicago, and is expected to reassign the estimated $100 million of billings handled by the agency to its other roster shops.

DDB, and its predecessor Needham Harper Worldwide, has been a General Mills shop for forty years, handling brands such as Golden Grahams, Oatmeal Crisp, Wheaties, Yoplait, Colombo, Bisquick, Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper. However, unlike GM’s other roster shops Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and the latter’s Minneapolis sibling Campbell Mithun, DDB has not serviced GM business outside the US.

Explained General Mills’ Tom Forsythe: “We made a strategic decision to better leverage the strengths of our brands globally by consolidating our relationships.”

“It was a great relationship and we did great work, but at the end of the day, it was all about consolidation,” added a reflective Amy Hoffar from DDB.

Meanwhile, a decision is expected soon in the review of General Mills’ US broadcast TV buying duties, billings of which are estimated at $80–$100m. It is as yet unclear what effect the dropping of DDB will have on its Omnicom stablemate OMD, currently one of three shops left in the race.

News source: New York Times