Top Ten Account Moves

Top Ten Account Moves
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B&T's review of the top ten advertising account moves of 2012

Droga5 scoops Woolies

Droga5 swooped in and took one of the nation’s biggest accounts in March, winning the Woolworths creative account from M&C Saatchi, which had held it for a decade. The lengthy pitch process saw Ogilvy and Droga5 fight down to the wire for the prestigious account. By June, Droga5’s first work for the supermarket giant, which added “Australia” into the “Fresh Food People” tagline, was being praised introducing a “complete and exciting refresh by Moon Communications’ Carolyn Miller, with DDB’s Grant Rutherford adding that the work had “loads of personality”.

Optus calls on Starcom and M&C Saatchi

M&C Saatchi and Starcom were confirmed as Optus’ creative and media agencies, after a nine-month pitching process that saw George Patterson Y&R push to the final hurdle to try to take the business from M&C Saatchi. Starcom, however, was successful in taking the media business from MPG, which had held the account for eight years.

CommBank says M&C Saatchi can

M&C Saatchi also won the $100m Commonwealth Bank account in February, edging out finalist DDB and incumbent Goodby Silverstein, following a three-month review. In August, CommBank dropped BMF from its retained roster after five years.

After the week-long ‘Can’t’ teaser campaign, M&C Saatchi proceeded to roll out the ‘Can’ campaign, rebranding CommBank and calling on actress Toni Collette to launch it. The campaign ran throughout the year, including during the London Olympics when the bank signed Aussie swimmer James Magnussen as an Olympic ambassador.

Sportsbet even took a gamble by running a parody of ‘Can’ with its tongue-in-cheek ‘Punt’ spot in August.

DDB snares Westpac creative

Ted Horton’s Big Red agency lost the Westpac creative account to DDB in August. It was great news for DDB after the agency lost the ANZ creative account last year. DDB Australia and New Zealand chairman Marty O’Halloran said his agency’s appointment was a win for both its Melbourne and Sydney offices.

Hotly anticipated new work is expected to roll out before the end of the year.

Medibank chooses Whybin

A six-month pitch process for the Medibank creative account ended in May with Whybin\TBWA Melbourne pipping incumbent George Patterson Y&R Melbourne to the post. DDB and BMF were also in the mix for the big contract. GPY&R was behind the campaign ‘The insurance your health deserves’. Whybin\TBWA launched its first pieces of creative work for Medibank in September, with a focus on families and positioning the brand as ‘Everything in Between’.

Y&R Brands lands Emirates creative

A grueling six-way pitch finally saw Y&R Brands land the Emirates creative account for Australia in early 2012. DDB and incumbents of eight years Saatchi & Saatchi both withdrew from the pitching process after three months of pitching. BMF was also involved in the process.

Y&R Brands chief executive Russel Howcroft said at the time it was a significant win for the group and he was “delighted” to be part of Emirates’ new communications team.

DraftFCB loses Honda

A quick-fire pitch in August saw Honda ditch DraftFCB and hand its creative account to Leo Burnett – a move that forced DraftFCB to announce the closure its Melbourne office the following week. DraftFCB’s last work for the Japanese brand was released in June and featured people being held back from running by parachutes.

Leo Burnett chief executive Melinda Geertz said of the Honda win: “We are absolutely thrilled. Honda is one of the greatest brands in the world and we feel privileged to have this opportunity.”

PHD gets a good start with ANZ

2012 kicked off on a high note for PHD after it won the $60m media planning and buying account for ANZ, clinching it from incumbents Mitchell & Partners. The pitch process had been rumbling along quietly since August 2011. ANZ’s review of its media buying operations was reported to be linked to the bank’s moves to expand operations locally and become a “super-regional” bank.

Omnicom bags Sony

Omnicom Media Group landed the Sony Australia media account in May, after the electronics giant parted ways with Starcom MediVest earlier in the year. According to Nielsen, Sony Australia had spent $9.5m on main media in the preceding 12 months, down from $14m the year before.

Leigh Terry, chief executive for OMG in Australia and New Zealand, said after the win: “We are delighted to be working across Sony devices, we see great synergies across the assets, and this further reinforces OMG’s relationship with Sony around the globe.”

Saatchis wins BigW

Woolworths-owned retailer Big W dropped incumbent agency IdeaWorks after more than 20 years, moving its creative account to Saatchi & Saatchi in February. It was the first new business win for Saatchis’ new chief executive Mike Rebelo, who joined from the agency’s London office. Publicis Mojo was the third agency to make it to the final round of pitching.

Rebelo said: “As soon as we heard that the Big W account was up for pitch, we instinctively knew they were the right retail partner for us. Our appointment to such an iconic Australian brand is a great endorsement of the new team and momentum we’re building at the agency.” 

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