We all thought a review of the Tesco account was on the cards when Dave Lewis took over as CEO from Phil Clarke but action man Lewis has dispensed with such fripperies and moved the £140m account straight to BBH from incumbent Wieden+Kennedy.
BBH has resigned the much smaller Waitrose supermarkets account.
BBH group CEO Neil Munn says: “A unique opportunity has presented itself with Tesco and we are looking forward to working with Dave Lewis and his team. This has meant that we have had to part company with Waitrose.”
Sir Nigel Bogle, founder of BBH says: “Waitrose is an extraordinary business and brand. Working with The Partnership has been a pleasure and a privilege. We are very proud of the work we have created together.”
Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas says: “BBH has done a wonderful job for us and we wish them well for the future. We’re now going to take some time to think creatively about our approach.”
Tesco’s Lewis knows BBH well from his previous role as head of Unilever’s Personal Care division for which BBH handled Axe/Lynx. Dispensing with the formalities of a pitch is sensible as he has rather more compelling (and even more time-consuming) issues on his plate as he tries to turn around the troubled retailer.
Losing such a giant account is tough on W+K, which never seemed to be given the freedom to depart from Tesco’s previous long-running ‘Every Little Helps’ campaign. There will inevitably be redundancies in Shoreditch.
It will be interesting to see if giant production agency Tag hangs on to the production part of the account, a massive job. BBH, which has recovered its brio in huge style after a disappointing 2014, can expect a few calls.
I understand that no redundancies are planned at W+K following the loss of Tesco. Which is good news.