“Our new partnership with Mindshare in the US will help us advance our ‘consumer-first’ approach to growing our brands,” said Jackie Woodward, VP, global media and connections platforms at General Mills. “Their engagement, insights and ideas were impressive across paid, owned, earned and shared media and showed deep understanding of consumer behavior.”
Mindshare, a unit of WPP Group, replaces Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media, which has handled most of P&G’s media chores since 2001. The Minneapolis-based client spends approximately $850 million annually on domestic advertising, per Kantar Media.
Joanne Davis Consulting in New York managed the agency selection process, which began in May and marked the first time in 15 years General Mills had launched a major media review. Key decision makers at the client included vp of global media Jackie Woodward and chief marketing officer Ann Simonds. Both joined the company within the past year.
General Mills owns many well-known brands including Cheerios, Wheaties, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs and Betty Crocker. When the company began the review, a rep would say only that “today’s environment calls for exploring new avenues to reach and engage with our consumers” when asked why the business was going into play after such a long run with Zenith.
It’s been a year of reviews for major players. Among the competitions that have concluded in recent weeks, Coca-Cola selected UM as its lead North American agency, Johnson & Johnson tapped UM’s J3 for US buying and SC Johnson consolidated global buying account at PHD. Meanwhile, Horizon Media formed a new agency with Hyundai-backed Innocean—called Canvas Worldwide—to handle media for the carmaker’s US brands.