Can new creative Todd Tilford save DraftFCB’s crucial $1bn SC Johnson account?

That surely is the first job for Todd Tilford, the new CCO of Interpublic-owned DraftFCB in Chicago.

Tilford, who joins officially in August from Grey New York where he’s an executive creative director, will be faced with the final knockings of family-owned household product company SC Johnson’s agency review which has pitched 50-years incumbent DraftFCB against WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and Omnicom’s BBDO.

And, you’d have to say, DraftFCB isn’t the favourite to win.

DraftFCB seems to have messed up its relationship with SC Johnson (one of the few clients still to pay 15 per cent commission, it’s said), in particular by turfing out 30-year veteran account man Mark Modesto who minded the agency’s biggest account.

Tilford will no doubt continue in his new post if SC Johnson goes but he’ll be CCO of a much smaller and poorer agency.

Chicago, once the powerhouse of US advertising, has taken a right old pounding recently with Sears departing Y&R Chicago for Mcgarrybowen in New York and even Leo Burnett, the cornerstone of advertising in Chicago, deciding to open a big new office in New York.

So who’ll win SC Johnson?

Whoever hires Mark Modesto would be the cynical answer. But it’s hard to argue against BBDO. Andrew Robertson’s agency is the most powerful network in the world at the moment, combining a strong creative record with peerless account handling.

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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.