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Do Amex and Dos Equis account moves signal an end to agency pitch mentality?

It’s all change in adland, as we know, and maybe another change is happening: big accounts moving without all the rigmarole of a pitch.

American Express has hired Mcgarrybowen as its new global creative agency, replacing Ogilvy & Mather which has handled the business since 1962. Ogilvy penned “don’t leave home without it” for Amex.

Ogilvy is reported to have kept some kind of international role, although global surely includes ‘international.” Maybe it’s going to act as a distribution cum production agency, something of a comedown. But it keeps it in the Amex frame.

It’s a big win for Dentsu’s Mcgarrybowen though which, finally, seems to be gaining some sort of international purchase on top of its American power base.

Not quite so big but noteworthy just the same is Heineken US returning to Droga5, this time with its Dos Equis brand. Havas has handled this since 2006, producing the ‘most famous man in the world’ campaign. This will run through 2017 before D5 takes over the business. D5 in the US is also on AB InBev’s roster although not for long probably.

Two such examples don’t mean the end of agency pitches but clients, who are seeing the need to move more quickly, may finally be calling time on the hyper-protracted, expensive ones.

If so it’s clearly bad news for pitch consultants – over whom agencies won’t shed many tears although it makes their own tenure of accounts even more shaky.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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