Pinnacle Foods has transferred creative and strategy duties for its Duncan Hines dry goods brands and Birds Eye frozen brands to BBDO New York and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, respectively. The move comes in the wake of Pinnacle’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Birds Eye in December and subsequent renaming of the two divisions to reflect the most well-known brands within each.
BBDO New York replaced Merkley & Partners and KBS&P took over for Draftfcb. Both are agency of record relationships. Pinnacle selected the agencies in early July following a competitive RFP.
Pinnacle said it selected separate agencies for each division, rather than consolidating all dry and frozen brands under one shop in order to tailor marketing programs to the needs of each unit.
“We have some tremendous brands with a lot of potential and, given that we want to resurrect the conversation around those brands, we needed some fresh and transformational thinking,” said Mark Schiller, president of the Duncan Hines Grocery Division. “We put the two businesses up for bid and feel we chose two great agencies.”
Schiller said there is no schedule for when work will hit the market, but it will encompass digital and direct marketing, print and TV.
When asked for more specifics regarding the direct marketing strategy going forward, Schiller responded: “Given where the consumer is today, having more a two-way dialog is where our resources have been going.”
“These brands have strong equity but they are currently in the background and our goal is to put them in the foreground through a combination of great creative, being in the right channels and spending,” he continued. “Our intent is to increase spending over time, depending on performance in marketplace and competitive environment.”
Draftfcb, which handled creative duties for Pinnacle’s Hungry Man, Mrs. Paul’s and Van de Kamps Frozen Seafood brands, said in a statement it regrets the loss of account.
“We are disappointed that changes in management and the organizational structure at Pinnacle Foods have led to the consolidation… we are proud of the work we produced on Pinnacle’s behalf and we wish our friends there continued success,” the statement read.
Executives from Merkley were not available by press time.