Upmarket grocer Waitrose may be arguably Britain’s most successful retailer at the moment but it’s made a right hash of its advertising arrangements recently, first departing MCBD/Dare to follow creatives Ken Hoggins and Jeremy Carr to Mark Lund’s new start-up Now and then shipping out rapidly for Bartle Bogle Hegarty when Carr chose to join JWT instead.
BBH seemed a perfect fit for Waitrose (you can’t imagine the Kingly Street crew shopping anywhere else, unless it’s Selfridges) and it’s certainly not an agency short on creative talent.
But this week we’ve learned that Hoggins, who has worked on Waitrose at various agencies including his own for the past two decades, is to join BBH. Is this because BBH is a bit short in the talent stakes (surely not) or that Waitrose just couldn’t bear to be parted from its old mucker? And was Hoggins moving to BBH a condition of the move?
And what happens if BBH creative director Nick Gill decides he doesn’t like one of Ken’s ads? Or thinks it’s time to ditch Delia Smith or Heston Blumenthal?
That would be Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas’s worst nightmare. And he’s clearly had a few recently.