BBDO triumphs in $4bn Ford pitch – W+K is innovation partner and WPP keeps bits and bobs

Omnicom’s BBDO has won the Ford creative account with Wieden+Kennedy, which is handling Ford’s fall ad campaign, retained as a roster partner (which should keep BBDO on its toes). WPP, which has handled Ford for decades through JWT and Ogilvy and latterly bespoke agency GTB (Global Team Blue, left) misses out although it’s going to keep dealer advertising and what we used to call below-the-line.

It’s a big blow for new WPP CEO Mark Read who has, apparently, been commuting regularly to Detroit while the review, conducted by the UK’s Flock Associates, has chugged along.

In truth though WPP was never likely to keep the whole account, reckoned to be worth $500m in income in the old GTB days. Ford is accused by many of running out of ideas and to keep the creative business with WPP/GTB would have looked like it was short of another one. Stock markets, of course, might not be so forgiving.

Ford/Flock were fortunate in that BBDO, arguably the world’s biggest and best creative network, was available, having lost its Mercedes business, mostly to Publicis, earlier this year. The win is a coup for BBDO boss Andrew Robertson and won’t do his chances of succeeding John Wren as head of Omnicom any harm at all.

As far as Read is concerned GTB now looks toast. The lost income may prompt him into more radical surgery at his rambling empire.

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