Curiously Underfunded

According to Ad Age, Wrigley plans to pump some serious money into three marquis candy brands it acquired last year from Kraft Foods.

Marketing for Altoids and Life Savers is curiously weak. That’s the startling admission from Wrigley’s CEO, who told investors that ad efforts for the two brands were under-marketed when they were owned by Kraft Foods and haven’t been a lot better since Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. purchased them for $1.5 billion last year.
Bill Wrigley Jr., the mastermind behind the deal, blindsided analysts at the company’s annual meeting last week, when he said the brands, along with Creme Savers, had received “limited marketing and innovation support” and will require more significant investment than previously thought — at the expense of earnings — in order to grow.
Although measured-media spending on the brands rose in 2005 to a total of $50 million, up from $33 million in 2004, those efforts were still dubbed “quite weak” by Lehman Bros. analyst Andrew Lazar. Mr. Lazar’s analysis of ACNielsen data shows Altoids sales fell 17% since Wrigley’s ownership, while Life Savers dropped 8% and Creme Savers plunged 33%.
Altoids agency is Leo Burnett, Chicago, and Energy BBDO, Chicago, works on Life Savers and Creme Savers.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.