Chocolate, sweets and wheelbarrows full of cash brought in as DDB clings to two big’uns

If, as Bill Bernbach exclaimed, profit sets you free, then the folks at DDB are presumably relishing their freedom this week after holding on to two massive beasts, Cadbury and The Warehouse.

DDB’s managing director Justin Mowday couldn’t say anything aside from “it’s business as usual with Cadbury”. But judging by the hangovers of some of the DDB staffers on Saturday morning, it’s fair to say there are plenty of smiles on the DDB dials this week.

Cadbury is worth around $8 to $10 million (about the same as a typical bank). And to add a little zing to Friday’s festivities, DDB also retained The Warehouse after a pitch against M&C Saatchi.

The Warehouse pitch was a fairly secretive one. But the Cadbury tale is the more interesting yarn. After Kraft Foods purchased Cadbury earlier this year for the ridiculous sum of about $19 bill, speculation that agency changes in New Zealand could be afoot ensued. Cadbury is globally aligned to Saatchi & Saatchi, so DDB NZ, which has worked with Cadbury for over 20 years, is something of an anomaly and apparently one of only two non-Saatchi aligned countries.

As everyone knows, the New Zealand arm of Saatchi’s is in fairly poor health at present, its condition not helped by the loss of Westpac to Colenso recently, so Rev Lovemark Roberts was extremely keen for the Kiwi office to assume what he felt was its rightful position.

Apparently there was a huge amount of international pressure to go back to the international status quo, with Roberts doing everything in his power to make it happen and the Cadbury global marketing manager also involved in the dealings. So DDB was well aware it had to hit it out the park on the pitch and not just beat Saatchi’s but completely smash them. And in what is another body blow for Saatchi’s, it obviously did just that.

Aimee Driscoll, Cadbury’s new corporate affairs manager, says calling it international pressure would be overcooking it. Instead, she says it was just part of a structured review of the company’s agency relationships after its sale to Kraft.

DDB has done some sterling work for Cadbury recently, with the very well-received Pascall’s, Picnic and Moro ‘fourth best’ campaigns. Most notably, however, it also created Freida the bovine Fred Astaire, which is the only Glass and a Half Full Production not made by Fallon London (check out its most recent effort, Spots & Stripes, here) and has been a big hit with New Zealand’s great unwashed.

There were also questions over Cadbury’s PR work. But Mango’s response to the great palm oil debacle of 2009 and some good work on the Billboards to Bags Commonwealth Games stunt, means it has stayed put as part of the integrated DDB Group offering. And confirming what had already been confirmed, Cadbury sent out a release saying it has moved its media from M2M to Carat because of, that’s right, a global alliance. The change takes effect from 30 September 2010.

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