Nabisco opts for H&M

Nabisco Brands has reversed the trend toward global alignment of ad accounts and consolidated its business with a Canadian independentAfter an internal review, Nabisco has moved its business from McCann-Erickson, its agency of more than 30 years, to Harrod & Mirlin...

Nabisco Brands has reversed the trend toward global alignment of ad accounts and consolidated its business with a Canadian independent

After an internal review, Nabisco has moved its business from McCann-Erickson, its agency of more than 30 years, to Harrod & Mirlin of Toronto.

The New York office of McCann-Erickson handles Nabisco’s cracker business in the u.s.

Seven-year-old h&m was a sister agency of McCann-Erickson until last month when it bought itself from parent company New York-based Interpublic Group.

The account shift is expected to become effective in November.

Craig Simpson, president of McCann-Erickson, says the consolidation was driven by financial considerations on the part of Nabisco, which had decided it did not need nor could afford more than one agency.

Brian Harrod, h&m vice-president and creative director, says a worldwide alignment of Nabisco would have been hard, because, in Canada, Nabisco sells a large stable of products under the Christie brand name.

While Christie, originally a Canadian brand, is a major player in Canada, it has only a small presence in the u.s., primarily with Peek Freans cookies and Bagel Chips.

Mr. Christie’s Oreo cookies and other products are branded Nabisco in the u.s.

Harrod says he knew Nabisco was planning to make some advertising changes, but expected a brand realignment.

‘We didn’t feel for a moment we would get the whole business,’ he says. ‘That was a total surprise.

‘We have worked with Christie/Nabisco for so long, they feel we understand their business and are comfortable with us.’

h&m started working on new products for Nabisco seven years ago, and about two years ago a realignment gave h&m the Christie crackers account, including Ritz and Triscuit.

The new business includes Del Monte and Aylmer canned fruits and vegetables, Magic baking powder, Milk Bone pet snacks, Mr. Christie’s Oreo, Chunks Ahoy, Peek Freans, Snackwell’s and Dad’s cookies and Sun-Ups cereal bars.

Ian Mirlin, h&m president, calls the consolidation a token of Nabisco’s confidence in the agency.

‘Brian [Harrod] and I worked on Nabisco’s early stuff 15 years ago, 20 years ago in Brian’s case, at McCann-Erickson,’ Mirlin says.

‘To come full circle, and have the business with us here, is great,’ he says.

Because of the additional business, Mirlin says the agency will need to do some hiring later this year.