$70m Accenture drops Young & Rubicam for TBWA

The turbulence continues at Young & Rubicam with long-term client Accenture, the business services giant that was formerly Andersen Consulting, switching its $70m account to TBWA Worldwide.

Accenture has also awarded its global production business to Tag.

The switch is just the latest to hit WPP-owned Y&R (whose Chicago office recently lost the $360m Sears account to Dentsu’s Mcgarrybowen), a sequence that seems to have started when New York CEO Hamish McLennan quit the agency in January to be replaced by Wunderman’s David Sable.

New York CCOs Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal also departed for Wieden+Kennedy New York while creative director Kevin Brady upped sticks for Droga5.

The agency has seen some much-needed traffic the other way thanks to its tie-up with Montreal agency Taxi which WPP bought last December. Taxi has helped to attract most of Revlon’s business (formerly handled in-house), Kraft’s Mio water additive and also won a place on VW’s European roster.

Accenture has always been more marketing-minded than its consultancy rivals, basing its efforts around its sponsorship of champion golfer Tiger Woods. But Woods was dumped in 2009 after revelations about his many affairs and Accenture has been searching for a creative strategy since.

‘High Performance – Delivered’ doesn’t quite cut it without the (formerly) all-conquering Tiger.

The win will be some relief for TBWA which lost most of its near $1bn Mars account to Omnicom sibling BBDO last week.

Y&R Brands boss Peter Stringham (and his ultimate boss WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell) may let things at Y&R New York ride for a bit, hoping the agency’s fortunes will turn.

But at the moment it looks dangerously under-powered in comparison with Omnicom’s triumvirate of BBDO, DDB and TBWA and marauding indies like W+K and Droga5.

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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.