JWT is splitting with L.L. Bean, 14 months after the WPP Group shop landed creative duties on the brand, the agency confirmed.
JWT in New York produced one TV spot for the client but little else as the client spent less than expected, said sources.
I distinctly recall how our friend Dean Gemmell at Black Lab Five knew the pitch process was a clusterfuck all along when he contacted consultants at Pile & Company during the review:
“You see,” I said, “I think Martin-Williams is a fine agency. I think Mullen before them is a fine agency that did plenty of fine ads. So it seems to me that L.L. Bean may not really need an ad agency that makes money by producing lots of ads. Perhaps instead of herding together another flock of agencies (Crispin! Get Crispin in this thing, dammit!) to pitch the business, you should talk to your client about handling their business in a different way. Maybe they’re just not right for an agency relationship.”
Nadira, who I must stress once again was most lovely and polite, responded to my volley with the usual talk of integration needs and scope and so forth. Then she invited me to add our agency to their agency directory called Agency Compile. Which, of course, I was unable to do because I refuse to use Internet Explorer and wondered how a search firm in an industry dominated by Apple could insist on IE compatibility for a site.
So LL Bean moves on after 14 months. No surprise to Dean, I’m sure.