Earlier today we suggested that the pitch list for Morrisons’ supposedly £70m ad account would be M&C Saatchi (which pitched last time three years ago), CHI and Wieden+Kennedy. With an outside bet on former Asda agency Saatch & Saatchi.
Not so it seems. An insider’s carrier pigeon drops a bomb (it’d better be right) that says: it’s JWT, CHI (that’s one for us anyway), Publicis, WCRS and Grey. Two WPP agencies, you’ll note, and CHI which is 49 per cent owned by the desperate-to-win-a-UK-grocer giant. Publicis handled Asda for decades before it went to Saatchi and then VCCP.
Dunno why we overlooked WCRS, it won B&Q last year and mother ship Engine has all the bells and whistles Morrisons might want. JWT and Grey presumably means that Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has said it’s OK for WPP to pitch for Morrisons creative even though its media agency MediaCom handles Tesco. Or Sir Martin Sorrell is winging it..surely not?
It’s interesting that WPP keeps putting forward JWT for these big grocery pitches. Why not Ogilvy? Grey is the blue-eyed boy of WPP UK at the moment. But can they walk the walk?
Most of the other agency stuff like below-the-line is also up for grabs it seems, although we don’t know if this includes the digital account at Tribal DDB.
New Morrisons CEO David Potts is not closely involved we learn, although he has laid down the financials (not very much).
Well there you go. Also on the grocery front Waitrose MD Mark Price, the famed ‘chubby grocer,’ is quitting to spend more time with his John Lewis Partnership benefits and to pitch for the chair of Channel 4 (he’s deputy chairman at the moment). Has somebody marked Mark’s card?
Rumours abound that Tory chancellor George Osborne, now showing his true, rather nastier colours as he no longer has a Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury to rein him in, is hell bent on flogging off the state-owned broadcaster. This might raise about £2bn max.
Channel 4 has its ups and downs but, on balance, it’s contributed quite a lot to the nation. Why flog it for peanuts? It will start privatised life as independent and then be bought by someone like Liberty Media, which owns Virgin Media. What good does that do?
At times the UK seems like a giant car boot sale.