CHICAGO: QTG (Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade), a division of PepsiCo North America, has selected Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to be its "significant" agency for the Quaker and Tropicana brands in the US. PRWeek has learned that the open-ended account is valued in the area of $2 million.
P.J. Sinopoli, VP of public affairs for QTG, said it issued the RFP in July in order to choose an agency that would most effectively move the barometer of its business units. She said it was "looking for an agency that's going to bring in excitement on the consumer front and credibility on the health and wellness front, as well, because obviously both these brands need to reaffirm that."
And in its final pitch, she said, Ogilvy conveyed that it would be able to do so for both brands.
"They delivered against the brief very well both from a strategic insight and understanding of our businesses," Sinopoli said. "They embrace the concept of both the strength of these consumer equities, as well as how they play in a health and wellness consumer marketplace. They came in with a lot of insight into our businesses, and we have a lot of confidence in their capabilities to execute very well."
Fleishman-Hillard had been the "significant" agency for all three brands for the past two to three years. Fleishman, which was one of the final companies to pitch, will remain the main agency for Gatorade. Sinopoli would not discuss the final number of agencies that presented.
Asked what challenges lie ahead for Quaker, Tropicana, and Ogilvy, Sinopoli said: "There are so many, I wouldn't know where to start. Obviously, it's to introduce our new products into the market with impact and to continue to ultimately educate consumers about the nutritional benefits of both these products."
Sinopoli said a main focus would be to keep up with consumers.
"These are very traditional brands; they are not hi-tech," she said. "So whatever media vehicles [the public] is going to use, whether it be blogging or any Internet-related activities, we just have to keep pace with the new medium."
Sandra Saias, EVP at Ogilvy PR Worldwide, will lead the account from Ogilvy's Chicago office. Saias said Ogilvy worked with Quaker about 10 years ago on the Smart Heart campaign.
"So it's really good to be working with them again to keep asserting their leadership in that heart- health space," Saias said. "The food and beverage segment is a super dynamic industry and a changing environment, so to partner with them to make a difference [in battling health issues] is going to be our number one goal."
Saias said there will be "clear and distinct teams" working on both brands, but is unsure of what the size of each team will be "because we haven't been given a full scope of work yet." She said for the moment she will head both teams, "but again, we're not really sure" until Ogilvy sees the scope of the work.
Sinopoli expects its work with Ogilvy to begin rolling out in late 2006 and throughout 2007.
"We have already begun oatmeal season, so there are some programs already in place," Sinopoli said, adding that Fleishman has committed to a transition and will finalize some projects. "But the focus of Ogilvy's energies will be put into the 2007 calendar year."
At one point, QTG entertained the idea of choosing two separate agencies to handle the two brands.
"In this case, we have first and foremost two very strong and distinctive brand equities, so you can always consider breaking them by equity and letting one brand go elsewhere," Sinopoli said.
Sinopoli said the RFP was neither issued as an annual review of its Quaker and Tropicana businesses, nor done because QTG was unhappy with the work Fleishman was doing for it.
"Fleishman has done very fine work on behalf of Quaker and Tropicana," Sinopoli said. "I think that sometimes, however, it is just very beneficial to get out with our brands to see what new thinking or approaches might be there and [see if] we are serving these brands best.
We wanted to look at what other opportunities might be out there... and we were very pleased with where we landed with Ogilvy."