In a move designed to bring additional synergy to Bayer's agency relationships, Crop Science U.S. Marketing announced it has named three firms its Agencies of Record beginning in the 2021 crop year: BBDO, HLK, and OBP.
• BBDO Atlanta will support the Bayer Crop Protection portfolio, including herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides for row crops and horticulture, as well as the company's new Bayer PLUS Rewards program.
• HLK, which is based in St. Louis, will support Channel brand seed, regional seed brands, Bayer's trait portfolio, and integrated systems such as the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.
• St. Louis-based OBP will support DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine and WestBred seed brands.
In addition, Barefoot Proximity, based in Cincinnati, will handle holistic portfolio strategy and measurement; digital engagement and multichannel marketing, and modeling. Rhea + Kaiser, in Naperville, Ill., will lead media planning and placement.
"The history and relationships we had with a number of the industry's top agencies were great, but unfortunately as the two legacy companies integrated, we knew we had to consolidate and simplify our agency structure," said Bob Wilhelm, North America Brand and Marketing Communication Strategy Lead. "Reducing the number of agencies we work with and streamlining our agency operating model are necessary to best position our business for future growth."
The changes go into effect for Crop Year 2021 planning, which will start in early 2020. Current agencies will continue executing Crop Year 2020 plans, winding down in the first half of 2020, Wilhelm said.
"We thank all our agency partners for their commitment and work on our brands, and for their participation in the agency review process," he said. "Every day, we are excited to work with some of the best talent in the world, both inside and outside our walls."