John Lewis goes to Saatchi & Saatchi

Saatchi & Saatchi has won John Lewis Partnership, including the eponymous retailer, supermarket Waitrose and John Lewis Financial Services.

Saatchi beat Wonderhood Studios and a WPP combo in the pitch. JL spend 14 years at adam&eve, then adam&eveDDB, during which time it became the UK’s most famous advertiser with its Christmas extravaganzas and a worldwide award-winner. A&E declined to repitch.

JLP says: “Saatchi & Saatchi will develop and produce all of our brand campaigns, including our popular John Lewis Christmas TV ad. Saatchi will also support next year’s launch of the new JLP brand loyalty programme, which will see customers being rewarded more when they shop with John Lewis and Waitrose. The first campaign is expected to be for Waitrose in the autumn.

“As well as sharp strategic thinking and creative excellence, Saatchi & Saatchi’s culture, commitment to inclusion and social impact makes them a great fit for JLP.”

John Lewis is far from the buoyant brand it was for most of A&E’s long tenure. New boss Sharon White is grappling with mounting losses and revolting “partners” (staff, who technically own the mutual) as its brands grapple with inflation.

A&E will be the hardest of acts to follow. A&E was a relatively small independent agency when it first won John Lewis (Waitrose came later) and it’s a shame in some ways that Wonderhood, at a similar stage in its development, didn’t get the opportunity to show what it could do on what remains a flagship account.

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