It’s A Numbers Game Today

Several high profile clients are shopping around for new agency partners, but there’s a catch according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The chief procurement officer has become more important than the chief marketing officer inside some companies,” says Joanne Davis, a new-business consultant in New York.
About 80% of reviews now include procurement departments, up from 30% to 40% about five years ago, consultants say.
On Thursday, WPP’s JWT pulled out of a four-way contest for United Parcel Service’s $140 million account because the review was largely being led by procurement executives eager to push down costs, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In a memo to his top executives, JWT Chief Executive Bob Jeffrey said the review “centered on protracted legal/contractual/financial discussions that are not in the best interests of JWT.”

Times are tight. Everyone knows that. But penny pinching, while likely necessary, isn’t going to solve marketer’s problems.
[UPDATE] Ad Age has more on the procurement push back from agencies, JWT in particular.

“UPS is a big business with a very big problem to tackle,” JWT Chairman-CEO Bob Jeffrey wrote in an e-mail to colleagues. “They need to treat us or any agency as a partner, and it doesn’t seem that is in their culture. We’ve invested significant time and energy in pitching this business, so we are not taking this decision lightly.”

Damn, Brown’s not doing much for Bob Jeffrey.

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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 at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.