Covid-19 fallout hits Wieden+Kennedy London

Wieden+Kennedy London is making redundancies in the wake of Covid-19 and also the sudden loss of its high-spending Three account.

At the same time (and unrelated it’s said) London ECD Iain Tait is leaving as is CSO Ben Armistead. Long-serving Tony Davidson will take over as sole ECD. Dan Hill is joining from W+K New York to replace Armistead.

W+K London MD Helen Andrews says: “Wieden & Kennedy London is an amazing agency because of the people in it. Unfortunately, due to the impact of Covid-19 we are having to make some redundancies. We say W&K is a family and our people come first, so it’s with huge sadness we have to say goodbye to some really talented people as we reshape the agency to continue to be an excellent partner to our clients.”

Said clients may not be too pleased to see top people leaving as well as the redundancies but agencies aren’t immune from Covid-19 fall out. As well as the loss of Three, following a change of CMO, W+K’s flagship Nike business will have been impacted by the cancellation of major sporting events like this summer’s Olympics in Japan.

ECD Tait, who had a spell at Google Creative Lab before rejoining W+K, may be tempted by some of the new creative agencies appearing on the London scene like Uncommon and Wonderhood Studios (both pitching for Three alongside Mother) and New Commercial Arts (NCA is believed to have been approached by Three but is bedding down new client Halifax.) Or, with or without Armistead, may be tempted to do his own thing.

Update

Vivendi-owned Havas is making around 150 redundancies in the US.

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.