Arun Sudhaman 24 Oct 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
BATTLE CREEK, MI--Kellogg Company has handed PR duties for its US brands, estimated at upwards of $4m, to Weber Shandwick and sibling Interpublic Group agency Current Lifestyle Marketing.
The development follows a competitive pitch, first revealed last month by the Holmes Report. It is understood that Weber Shandwick prevailed against a lineup that included Edelman and Kellogg incumbents MSLGroup and Ketchum.
The brief is thought to involve the development of a broad communications platform for Kellogg's various products. In addition to MSLGroup and Ketchum, Kellogg has worked with various PR agencies for specific brands and projects, including Ruder Finn and Hunter PR. The bulk of Kellogg’s advertising and media buying is handled by Publicis Groupe agencies.
While Kellogg remains the largest cereal maker in the US, it experienced a tough 2010, losing share to second-ranked player General Mills. The company also lowered its profit forecast after a recall of specific brands in 2010 and 2009.
Its performance this year has been more promising. Kellogg reported a sales increase of six percent in the second quarter of 2011, and a profit hike of eight percent, driven by healthy North American retail cereal sales. At a recent shareholder conference, senior Kellogg executives pointed out that brand-building would be a key focus for the company, along with new product innovation.
A Kellogg's representative confirmed the development.