D'Arcy initially pitched before the agency's closure was announced. Now the Cadbury business will be run by the Publicis network and D'Arcy's pitch team will move to Publicis.
The win, once officially confirmed, will pose an immediate conflict problem for Publicis in the UK, where Cadbury would clash with the agency's £3 million Ferrero Rocher account, won in September. Publicis is understood to have warned Ferrero chiefs about a potential difficulty.
The brands involved in the assignment include Flake, Creme Eggs, Dairy Milk, Wispa, Buttons, Crispy Crunch, Maynards and Caramilk. All were resigned by the TBWA network earlier this year as part of a deck-clearing operation, which allowed it to take on significant amounts of Masterfoods business in Europe.
The network's Publicis Groupe parent had been looking to harness D'Arcy's long experience on the Mars roster to bring in the Cadbury business. Leo Burnett also pitched for the account, but was told that it had been unsuccessful earlier this month.
The Cadbury win would be a triumphant swansong for D'Arcy, which is to be closed down by Publicis Groupe and its staff and clients absorbed into its other networks - Publicis, Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. However, Publicis sources claim to be unaware of a final decision by Cadbury and are not expecting one until early next month. Cadbury declined to comment.
Earlier this month, Publicis had to part company with its £10 million Velvet tissue account after the network gained a place on its rival Procter & Gamble's global creative agency roster.