Burnett, McGarryBowen survive Kraft agency cuts

Kraft Foods Group on Friday announced that it had slashed seven of its 11 agencies in a move to more efficiently consolidate its work, with Chicago-based Leo Burnett and McGarry Bowen among the four survivors.

The other two agencies sticking to the roster are MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Toronto-headquartered WPP’s Taxi.

The move was made so Kraft could more strategically align its brands “with the particular strengths of agencies on our roster” and use their category expertise where it makes sense, said Russ Dyer, Kraft Foods’ senior director of corporate affairs said in a statement.

The company is reportedly going to focus more on traditional advertising and shift away from a so-called creative approach and will be based on more research and analytics.

Agencies leaving the Kraft fold are Droga5, VSA Partners, TBWA, The Martin Agency, Lopez Negrete Communications, Roberts & Langer and Wieden & Kennedy.

“All of these agencies are exceptionally talented,” said Dyer, “but a roster this size prevents us from nurturing the types of relationships critical to building, deep and long-standing brand partnerships.”

Sources outside Kraft have said the downsizing was due to a need to ignite sluggish sales of cheese, Jell-O, mayonnaise and other products.  Kraft Food Group, the North American unit, was formed by the breakup of Kraft into two companies in 2012.