Grey has scooped the advertising account for the Barilla Company across
Europe, the US and South America, after Italy’s largest pasta producer
decided to consolidate the majority of its global business into one
Worth more than dollars 25 million in Europe alone, the account was
awarded without a pitch, but the move coincides with the arrival of Ed
Artzt as Barilla’s executive director. Artzt was previously the chief
executive officer of Procter and Gamble, one of Grey’s key multinational
The business covers all Barilla products, including bread and biscuits,
but does not involve advertising in the Italian home market, which
remains with Young and Rubicam.
Barilla’s decision to consolidate its advertising into one agency knocks
out DDB Needham in France, BBDO in Germany and J. Walter Thompson in
Greece. The company has not advertised in the UK since last year, when
it spent a meagre pounds 286,000 through TBWA.
The majority of the European account moved from TBWA to its sister
Omnicom agency, DDB Needham, last year. The client also took a five-year
break from UK advertising in the immediately preceding years. It has,
however, advertised consistently in other markets and remains one of the
leading pan-European advertised brands.
Past campaigns have relied heavily on celebrity endorsement, including
the tennis player, Steffi Graff, in Germany and the actor, Gerard
Depardieu, in France. The company signalled an intention to drop this
strategy together with its localised campaigns last year when it moved
into DDB Needham.
Commenting on the win, Grey London’s managing director, Nigel Sharrocks,
said: ‘This is a tremendous win for the agency, both in Europe and the
US. Barilla is a rapidly expanding company and we look forward to
producing some exciting ads.’