McCormick & Co., the Baltimore-based maker of spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavor-based products, named Grey New York as its new agency of record after a competitive review.
Grey is now AOR for the entire brand portfolio, and it will create multiplatform campaigns as part of a larger strategy to promote them in the U.S.
It has also won AOR duties on Frank’s RedHot, the classic sauce known primarily for its key role in the first batch of Buffalo wings allegedly created in 1964 in Buffalo, New York. Since acquiring that brand—along with French’s mustard—from Reckitt Benckiser in 2017, McCormick has announced plans to expand its use of Frank’s to new product lines including refrigerated dips and seasoning blends.
Grey created a new Frank’s campaign that will debut in early 2019.
McCormick & Co. vp of North American marketing excellence Jill Pratt said Grey “demonstrated superb strategic thinking and creativity together with an extensive array of integrated capabilities.” Grey New York CEO Debby Reiner said the agency is “honored to add McCormick & Company Inc., whose products are known and loved around the world, to our client roster.”
According to parties close to the business, Fitzco, a division of McCann Worldwide, was also invited to pitch for Frank’s as a roster shop. It is unclear whether R/GA, which first scored digital duties on the larger herbs and spices business in 2011 and has since created a variety of long-form sponsored content (like this 2016 holiday effort), participated in the pitch.
IPG’s UM will remain media agency of record for all McCormick-owned brands after winning a 2015 review, and Fitzco will keep the French’s portfolio that it picked up in a review earlier this year. (Fitzco also handles the McCormick-owned Stubb’s BBQ and Lawry’s seasoned salt lines.)
A Fitzco representative referred to the client. Spokespeople for R/GA have not yet responded to requests for comment on the news.
Kantar Media has McCormick & Co. spending approximately $29 million on paid media across its brands in the U.S. last year and $10 million in the first half of 2018.
In other Grey news, the global WPP network expanded its relationship with one of its largest clients, GSK, by winning more work on painkiller brand Panadol last week. It’s also currently defending its status as the NFL’s creative agency of record against several competitors including Wieden + Kennedy and 72andSunny.