72andSunny is no longer agency of record for General Mills

By May 1, 2019Advertising

General Mills has stripped MDC Partners shop 72andSunny of its agency of record title as it shifts to a project-based model.

The agency, in partnership with Redscout, won lead U.S. creative duties in 2016 for some of the company’s larger brands including Cheerios, Nature Valley and Yoplait. People close to the situation told Ad Age that 72andSunny will continue to work on certain projects for Cheerios but that it was taken off the Yoplait and Nature Valley accounts.

“We do not have a creative agency of record,” a General Mills spokesman confirmed in an email to Ad Age. “We have a portfolio of agencies that our brands can use based on their current needs.”

The spokesman declined to comment further so it is unclear exactly when this change took effect.

A spokeswoman for 72andSunny declined to comment.

Independent agencies Erich & Kallman, Pereira O’Dell and Joan (which recently rebranded from Joan Creative) are also on General Mills’ roster, working with various of its brands on a project basis. Erich & Kallman, for example, produced a Gen Z-friendly ad for Reese’s Puffs in February that highlighted the woes of prom dress shopping.

Erich & Kallman, Pereira O’Dell and Joan were all selected to handle certain projects as a result of the larger 2016 creative review, as was indie shop The Community, which told Ad Age it has since parted ways with General Mills.

While 72andSunny categorized it as a restructuring move at the time, one person close to the situation said the agency’s layoffs in March, which trimmed five percent of its staff in New York and Los Angeles, may have been related to the loss of General Mills. The Los Angeles office had handled Cheerios and will continue to do so.

Losing AOR status on Cheerios surely comes as a blow to 72andSunny, which last year lost the Nissan Infiniti account; clients Coors Light and Johnnie Walker have been placed into review. The agency declined to defend Coors Light. Late last year, the shop lost  MillerCoors’ Coors Banquet to Mekanism.

General Mills’ U.S. measured media spending declined 7.6 percent to $502.2 million in 2017, according to the Ad Age Datacenter. Cheerios’ 2017 spending fell 31.9 percent from 2018 to $99 million, Nature Valley’s grew 12.6 percent to $59.9 million and Yoplait’s was trimmed 43.2 percent to $59.9 million, Ad Age’s data shows.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that General Mills’ U.S. measured media spending declined 9.2 percent to $644 million. Ad Age regrets the error.

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