Leo Burnett breaks JWT’s historic hold on Kellogg’s with Be Natural win

Leo Burnett has loosened JWT’s historic hold on the Kellogg’s account in Australia, winning creative duties for Be Natural, Mumbrella can reveal.

Leo Burnett’s Sydney office takes on the ad account of Kellogg’s healthy cereal brand, ending JWT’s long-run as the cereal maker’s only Australian creative agency.

JWT and Leo Burnett handled the account jointly for 30 years, with JWT taking on sole duties about a decade ago.

The Publicis Groupe agency won the business after a head-to-head pitch with JWT.

Nik Scotcher, marketing manager for Be Natural, told Mumbrella: “We were looking for some fresh thinking. So we looked across the Australian market, and were impressed by Leo Burnett Sydney’s work,” he said, singling out the agency’s campaigns for Diageo. “That’s why we invited them for a mini-pitch with JWT.”

Scotcher would not go into detail on the brief, but said the agencies were judged on strategy, “the idea” and the scale and scope of the idea. Leo Burnett’s first campaign for Be Natural is to break later in the year.

The contract has yet to be signed, with detail on remuneration still being worked out.

When asked whether the move would mean more work for Leo Burnett in the near future, Scotcher remarked: “Certainly not. We’re extremely happy with the work JWT has been producing on our other brands.”

Australia is the a rare market in where Leo Burnett does not have the Kellogg’s account, although Be Natural is run separately to the Kellogg’s brand in most markets. Kellogg’s acquired the Be Natural brand around a decade ago.

Todd Sampson, Leo Burnett Sydney’s CEO, told Mumbrella: “It’s a good day when you get a phone call from Kellogg’s asking you to be a part of their company. Leo Burnett himself got that phone call over 60 years ago from Will Kellogg, the founder. Kellogg’s is a very smart company with big ambitions and we’re thankful to now be a part of that journey.”

The news comes a week after Leo Burnett Sydney gained more ground on the McDonald’s business, another account with which the agency has strong historic ties.

Sampson added: “It’s important to carefully manage agency growth. Blind growth and excessive ambition can be hard on a company and it’s culture. Over the last four years we have been fortunate enough to grow at double digit rates and a big part of our plan (some would say wishful thinking) was to eventually have Kellogg’s and McDonald’s as clients.”

“They are not only two of the most interesting and successful companies in the world. They’re also two of the biggest iconic brands on the planet. I am so excited for the agency, it’s another milestone for our company,” he said.

JWT Australasia boss John Gutteridge commented: “The partnership between Kellogg Australia and JWT is remarkably strong, our relationship across all the Kellogg brands is the best it has been for years. Strategically it makes sense for the Be Natural team to work with another agency partner.”


  1. Paul
    12 Jul 12
    12:57 pm

  2. Well done Burnetts.

    FYI Not a ‘biggie’ in journalistic inaccuracies, but Burnett’s used to share the creative duties back when it was still Leo Burnett Connaghan & May, so it’s not the first time that they’ve split the account with JWT. Either that, or I must have worked on a ‘ghost’ account for 3 years between 1995-98 :)

  3. Coxy
    12 Jul 12
    2:16 pm

  4. I think you’ll find that JWT has not been Kellogg’s only Australian Agency for 40 years. Leo Burnett handled a number of brands including Sultana Bran, Special K, Sustain, and Coco pops from the early 80s through to the turn of the century.

  5. paul
    12 Jul 12
    9:53 pm

  6. JWT is Kellogg’s only Australian Agency? Again: I don’t think so. I was with Y&R’s specialist healthcare shop Sudler & Hennessey in Sydney and did lots of nice creative work for All-Bran.