More Proof That Great Work Doesn’t Mean Much When A New V.P. Takes The Helm

Lewis Lazare: After the ups and downs of the past couple of weeks, it looks as if the year will end on a decidedly upbeat note at Leo Burnett with Monday’s news that the city’s largest agency has won the $100-million-plus Washington Mutual advertising account.
Burnett succeeds Seattle-based Sedgwick Rd., which had been Wa-Mu’s agency of record for the past 14 years. That relationship came to an end with the arrival last summer of Chris Matthews as Washington Mutual’s new senior vice president of branding and advertising.
There has been talk that Washington Mutual wanted to pull back a bit from the aggressively cheeky work that had been its hallmark. Matthews, who came to Wa Mu from General Electric, declined to discuss exactly what the advertising game plan would be for Washington Mutual going forward, but he disputed the claim that the agency’s previous advertising heavily targeted a younger demographic.
“I think people of all ages responded to the humor in our ads,” Matthews maintained in an interview.



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.