Late Wednesday we reported that Wieden + Kennedy have won the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee account, business that Global Hue was supposed to complete. But Chrysler Group LLC announced yesterday in a statement given to AgencySpy that they’d handed the project to W+K, citing Global Hue’s heavy multicultural workload.
At the time we published that story, a source familiar with the matter had informed us that the reason Global Hue lost the account was not due to a heavy workload — rather an alleged botched pitch by GH CEO Don Coleman (pictured) and a former creative director Kevyn Lewis. At the time we only had verification from one source, but today another has come forward and confirmed the story.
As the story goes, Global Hue’s creative and strategic teams created a comprehensive pitch over the course of two months. One source reveals that teams working on the pitch pulled the standard 70-hour weeks preparing for the pitch (12 total, we hear) — but they’d never get the chance to present.
That’s because Coleman and Lewis insisted, we’re told, that their ideas be presented to the clients and no one else. Furthermore, sources tell us Coleman and Lewis presented the work without any help. According to those who know, Chrysler was unimpressed by the creative and last week informed Global Hue that W+K pitched something better.
So on the one hand you have Global Hue’s executives allegedly dropping the ball on their one shot at redemption for the general market Jeep work. On the other, they continue to create multi-cultural work the client is happy with. As Chrysler noted yesterday, Global Hue will now handle much of the multi-cult work, and all of the strategy. It’s no small feat, but for an agency trying to drop a flag in general market territory this loss will hurt.
Look for a few Global Hue creatives to jump ship. We’ve heard folks have been trickling out for a few months as it is.
Update: Global Hue responds:
The Jeep Grand Cherokee campaign process was a normal engagement and a team effort that involved creative and management interaction on all levels. We respect our client’s decision to put a heavier emphasis on multicultural marketing and leverage our expertise in that area while maintaining our role as the lead agency for the Jeep brand.
GlobalHue continues to oversee various general market accounts, which include Jeep, MGM Grand Detroit and Bermuda Tourism.
GlobalHue has significantly increased both its human capital and revenue performance throughout the economic downturn and employee departures are normal attrition.