The last two weeks have been an unfolding nightmare for London’s independent creative agencies and it goes on: now Whitbread-owned Costa has dumped recently-appointed indie agency 101 because it wants to run an international campaign and 101 doesn’t have a network.
101 recently made its debut for Costa will ‘never a dull cup.’
Recently we’ve seen Carphone Warehouse abandon Brothers and Sisters for a procurement-driven deal with AMV BBDO and Walgreens Boots abruptly terminate a 13-year relationship with Mother to plump for a deal with WPP. WPP’s Ogilvy being the lucky beneficiary. Ogilvy has also landed Vodafone from WPP’s Grey in what looks like a closed WPP process although, officially, it wasn’t.
Costa, which must have almost reached saturation point in the UK, is quite entitled to hunt for an agency to help its international expansion (and it has a new marketing director in Sarah Barron from Cadbury, in turn part of struggling global candy company Mondelez).
But IKEA, for example, uses Mother (which also has offices in the US and Latin America) for a large part of its international work along with other top-drawer indie agencies outside the UK. You do get the impression that these deals are more to do with money than coverage or creative excellence.