Few people who write with a journalistic take on the ad business are as provocative as Jim Edwards. And commenting on Burger King’s decision to split with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, he aims straight for Alex Bogusky after tracing the timeline of agency and client changes:
And while Bogusky was once hailed as a creative genius who grew a small Miami ad shop into a global presence, he now looks like a destructive egomaniac who trashed his clients and walked out on his colleagues as soon as it made him colossally rich. While CP+B could not control the changes at the client, Bogusky’s actions were all well within his control and entirely preventable. Way to go, Alex.
Wow. Those are pretty harsh words. Not that Edwards is alone in voicing that point of view. But let’s look at the bigger picture: Is Edwards suggesting that even in agencies that produce incredibly creative campaigns, things still hinge on crucial agency-client relationships and the magnetism of some personalities? Perhaps that’s been the case many times, I’m sure we can find several other examples. So how are some agencies able to survive management changes with their clients still intact?
As an aside, I feel for whichever agency is next in line for Burger King. Because they can’t win, no matter what they do. The work will always be compared to innovative ideas like “Subservient Chicken” and “Whopper Sacrifice.” Heaven help them if they do some sort of conventional value-based price and item campaign that happens to boost sales. No matter what the next agency does, they’ll incur the wrath of both franchisees and the advertising critics.