Burnett Bows Out

Lewis Lazare: Leo Burnett’s decision to resign the $80 million Morgan Stanley account was a big blow on several fronts: A blow to the agency that had worked on the business for 17 years, and a blow to the Chicago advertising community that looks like it will lose another prestigious piece of business to another market.
Just as significantly, the Morgan Stanley account resignation is a blow to the advertising industry as a whole, which increasingly is becoming a business about fleeting personal relationships to the detriment of the big ideas and memorable brand-building ads that should be front and center.
In the immediate wake of the Morgan Stanley announcement, Leo Burnett tried, understandably, to put the best face possible on the development. In an interview Friday, Burnett President Rich Stoddart said the agency thought long and hard about resigning the business after it learned on July 28 from Morgan Stanley’s newly named head of global marketing, Don Callahan, that the account was going to be put into review.
“What happened here is, to some degree, a reflection of the price of change in the business world,” Stoddart said.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.