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Publicis sets up dedicated ‘Kitchen’ agency after landing McCormick EMEA business


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

November 6, 2019 | 3 min read

Publicis has won the media and creative for McCormick across Europe, Middle East and Africa which will see it set up a specialist hub called ‘Publicis Kitchen’ to service the account.



McCormick’s brand portfolio includes Schwartz, Ducros, Vahiné, Kamis, and Frank’s RedHot as well as a B2B business which works with food manufacturers, foodservice operators and restaurants.

The media and creative were managed as two separate reviews. After battling it out with WPP and Havas, Leo Burnett won the creative while Publicis Media took responsibility for planning, buying and e-commerce.

The two agencies opted to come together to form a dedicated agency called ‘Publicis Kitchen’ which will bring in a specialist in creative, media, data and technology to service the account.

First work is expected in early 2020 for its key markets of France, UK, Poland, Italy and Switzerland.

“Publicis Groupe has built a holistic and bespoke solution that will help us transform and integrate our creative, media, technology and commerce strategies while placing the consumer at the centre of everything we create,” said Ana Sanchez, vice-president of marketing EMEA at McCormick.

“We are very impressed with the team and their solutions and I have confidence that we will elevate consumer intimacy and accelerate growth together.”

McCormick recently posted sales of $1.3bn in its third-quarter earnings report, up 1% year-over-year. However, the brand is on a cost-cutting drive, particularly with its marketing spend where it’s looking for greater efficiency.

The account is estimated to worth a combined £20m in Europe. In the US – where Grey handles its creative and IPG’s UM handles media - it’s reported to have spent approximately $29m on paid advertising across its brands in 2017. On a recent earnings call, it said it was holding its 2019 marketing spend to 2018 levels and has been upping its focus on digital channels to get more for its money.

Chief executive Lawrence Kurzius pointed to a digital and social campaign which ran on ‘French's National Mustard Day’ which delivered 1 billion impressions and yielded marketing value that exceeded 15 times the organization's original investment. He said this is the kind of “optimized” brand spend he wants to see.

Charlie Rudd, chief executive of Leo Burnett London and Fallon London said the agency was “thrilled” to be working on the business and that it was “inspired” by the company’s “ambition and appetite for truly breakthrough, and transformative advertising.”

John Antoniades, global managing director at Publicis Media added: “We look forward to delivering a data-driven media transformation that step-changes planning, buying and commerce across the markets in a unified, scalable, personalised way. Data will be at the heart of driving consumer-centric plans across their iconic portfolio of brands.”


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