Campbell’s Launches a Review to Consolidate Creative and Digital for 4 Brands

Combined spending exceeds $22 million

Seeking to consolidate a range of creative and digital services across four brands at a single shop, Campbell Soup Co. has launched a review for Pace, Prego, SpaghettiOs and Ready Meals.

A Campbell's rep confirmed that the competition has begun but disclosed few details except to say that "over a dozen agencies are involved" and that the process would conclude early next year. "We work with multiple agencies across the four brands," she added.

Media chores, handled by MEC, a unit of WPP's GroupM, are not part of the review.

Last year, combined U.S. ad spending on those brands was more than $22 million, per Kantar Media. Spending for the first half of this year topped $7 million, but that's down from more than $9 million during the same period in 2014.

In past years, Pace and Prego have been consistent TV spenders. Pace's humorous ads playfully skewering rival brands supposedly "Made in New York City" became fairly well know. Similarly, the rallying cry, "Uh Oh, SpaghettiOs!" entered the cultural lexicon. (That famous line is currently coming back to haunt the brand as Campbell recalls more than 350,000 cans of SpaghettiOs because small plastic pieces have been found in some cans.) More recently, however, television buys have dropped off in favor of digital and social outreach.

BBDO, Campbell's lead agency, which handles most of its soup brands (and the current "Made for Real, Real Life" campaign), is not an incumbent on the brands in play. All told, the marketer spends more than $300 million annually on domestic advertising, a number that has been dropping of late.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.