Arun Sudhaman 18 Sep 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
BATTLE CREEK, MI--Kellogg Company has put a multimillion dollar communications brief up for pitch, as the food giant seeks to regain momentum after a difficult two-year period.
The Holmes Report understands that the cereal giant is seeking a broad consumer communications platform for its various products. Fees are undisclosed, but two agency sources pegged the business as being worth upwards of $4 million.
Kellogg is best-known for its many cereal brands, but individual brand duties are not thought to be in play. Instead, the company is searching for a “brand backbone”, said one source, along with some “corporate PR elements.”
“We continually engage with best-in-class resources to ensure we are keeping pace with the future needs of our business,” said Kellogg brand PR director Brandy Ruff, who joined the company earlier this year. “Details of these discussions are confidential.”
In the US, Kellogg works with various PR agencies for specific brands and projects, including Ruder Finn, Hunter PR and MSLGroup. 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. Earlier this year, COO John Bryant was promoted to head the company, following the retirement of president/CEO David Mackay.