Last week we observed that adam&eveDDB was facing is “Eddie Jones moment” as it lost out to big Omnicom rival AMV BBDO in a consolidation of Virgin Atlantic (its account) and Virgin Holidays. This came hard on the heels of Harvey Nichols exiting through the Lamborghini-strewn avenues of Knightsbridge to TBWA (another Omnicom agency) and failing to win Unilever’s PG Tips.
Let’s hope the embattled English rugby coach and his team bounce back as quickly as A&E has done, winning £40m Camelot, which runs the National Lottery among other brands, from – yes, you’ve guessed it, long-serving incumbent AMV.
Someone at Omnicom is probably wondering why their agencies spend all that time and money pitching against each other, but that’s showbiz. WPP’s Grey was the other finalist.
Camelot isn’t saying anything yet, which may be a relief. AMV will be cheesed but it’s hard even for them to win re-pitches. Their Lottery work has lost its way a bit recently.
A&E will have its work cut out to restore the Lottery to its former eminence as the market is much more crowded these days; bingo and betting also joining the battle for hopeful wagers. The ‘good causes’ USP of the Lottery is no longer unique. Arguably the BBC broadcasting the results on a Saturday is at least as important as the advertising and someone at the Beeb might be wondering why they still do it.
But it’s the kind of challenge that A&E, currently managing the post earn-out transition to a new management team, is practiced at rising to.