Archer Daniels Midland taps BSMG for multimillion-dollar PR push

DECATUR, IL: Commodities giant Archer Daniels Midland has chosen BSMG to handle a new PR program boasting a multimillion-dollar price tag.

DECATUR, IL: Commodities giant Archer Daniels Midland has chosen BSMG to handle a new PR program boasting a multimillion-dollar price tag.

DECATUR, IL: Commodities giant Archer Daniels Midland has chosen

BSMG to handle a new PR program boasting a multimillion-dollar price

tag.



The BSMG win came as part of ADM’s decision to switch its advertising to

FCB Chicago, owned by BSMG parent True North. The two agencies pitched

jointly for the business.



According to SVP of corporate affairs Larry Cunningham, ADM - which did

not have a PR agency of record - decided working with related PR/IR and

ad shops would ensure consistency of messaging.



’The PR campaign they outlined fit nicely with our goals,’ he said. ’We

want to spend more time with the investment community and with parts of

the media.’



The account will be handled out of BSMG’s Chicago office, known for

top-notch food PR on behalf of Kraft and General Mills. The agency

ranked second nationally in food PR income last year, bringing in

dollars 14.7 million in fee income - up 14% from its 1998 total of

dollars 12.9 million.



While Armstrong hasn’t finalized a PR budget, he said ADM has been

spending about dollars 30 million a year on advertising and will spend

that much or more on ad efforts going forward. That likely means a

multimillion-dollar PR budget for the company, which generated dollars

14 billion in sales last year.



ADM was widely criticized in the media over the past two years following

a trial that resulted in two former execs being convicted of commodity

price-fixing. The company has also been featured prominently in recent

news coverage about high gas prices - it produces an ethanol additive

for gasoline that oil companies have generally fought against using.



Having recently appointed a new senior management team, ADM is hoping

the PR push will change its image from that of a commodities behemoth to

a top supplier of nutraceuticals (PRWeek, June 19).



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