Mondelez picks WPP, Publicis in global creative review

The company hopes the model will give local markets access to global insights while balancing investment in Canadian favourites.

Mondelez International has concluded a global creative review, largely consolidating its creative with holding companies WPP and Publicis Groupe. The snack and confectionery company hopes the approach will help it maintain a balanced investment between global brands and local favourites within Canada.

In Canada, Publicis will be handling gum and biscuit categories, while WPP will be handling chocolate and candy (as well beverage and cheese brands globally). On a global scale, WPP’s work will be led by agencies Ogilvy and David, with Publicis’ assignment being led by agency network Digitas. Mondelez did not say which Publicis agency would lead creative in Canada, as Digitas does not have a Canadian office, beyond that it would be “using local Publicis agencies,” which include Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Some other individual agencies will maintain their work with Mondelez in select markets, such as IPG’s The Martin Agency (global lead for Oreo and U.S. creative lead for Ritz), VCCP (U.K. lead on Cadbury) and BETC (lead for some local brands in Western Europe). Mondelez will be working with “a limited number” of other agencies “on a category basis” globally, though it specified to strategy that it would be sticking with WPP and Publicis within Canada.

The creative review at Mondelez began in March, part of efforts to streamline its marketing efforts. A media review conducted last year resulted in the snack company splitting its media business between WPP’s GroupM and Publicis’s Spark Foundry.

The new appointments will begin Sept. 1 but will be phased in from their previous agencies, with the transitions expected to be finalized by the end of 2020.

“The new model aligns with our local-first operating model,” Mondelez said in a statement about the Canadian impact of the new assignment provided to strategy. “Our local markets will have access to an expanded talent base. Our partners will be able to deliver relevant story-telling at a local market level through data, insight and intelligence. And it will also help us make balanced investments in both the global brands and local jewels.”

“Jewel” brands are local favourites that have high affinity in a local market. In Canada, those include brands that are only available here, such as Maynards, Dad’s Cookies and David Biscuits, as well as Christie, which – in addition to its own lines of cookies – replaces the Nabisco trademark that appears in other markets on biscuit and cracker products including Chips Ahoy, Oreo, Belvita, Peek Freens, Wheat Thins, Triscuits and Ritz. Mondelez also sells gum brands Dentyne, Trident and Stride in Canada, with chocolate and other confectionery brands including Cadbury, Halls and Toblerone.

Mondelez previously had its work spread across IPG, WPP, Dentsu and Havas, depending on the brand and market. Ogilvy had already previously handled Canadian work for Cadbury in Canada, while IPG’s FCB handled the Canadian Christie, Ritz, Good Thins, Chips Ahoy and Oreo accounts. Mondelez also worked with a number of smaller agencies in individual markets, such as Toronto’s The Hive for Cadbury’s annual “Bicycle Factory” program.