New Commercial Arts, the agency set up by adam&eve founders James Murphy and David Golding, has muscled in on more Sainsbury’s business, adding a summer campaign for the supermarket’s beauty products to the Sainsbury’s-owned Habitat brand it won earlier this year.
Alarms bells will have been ringing at Sainsbury’s’ main agency Wieden+Kennedy since the Habitat appointment and they’ll be even louder now. Adam&eveDDB, as it is now, is still most famous for its advertising for retailer John Lewis and Murphy and Golding worked on M&S earlier at RKCR/Y&R.
The Sainsbury’s agency roster now consists of W+K, NCA and The&Partnership handling Argos – pretty powerful although such competitive line-ups don’t always gel. PHD handles media, which T&P’s media agency M/SIX thought it had won a few years back until incumbent PHD called foul.
We still haven’t a full picture of what NCA creative work will look like (CCO is Ian Heartfield from BBH). That may become clearer when its debut work for Moneysupermaket.com breaks. But based chiefly on its work to date for Halifax it will strike a populist tone, emotional yes but avowedly commercial too.
NCA is clearly an agency that wants to sit at the client’s top table, definitely not a purveyor of window dressing fairy dust. That won’t be lost on W+K either.