R.J. Reynolds Moves Creative Account From Long Haymes Carr
ATLANTA–A chief creative officer reluctant to work on a tobacco account and another who wanted to are at the center of R.J. Reynolds’ decision to move Winston’s creative duties from Long Haymes Carr to Doe-Anderson Advertising and Public Relations, said sources.
After a review, RJR of Winston-Salem, N.C., said it had named Doe-Anderson lead creative agency [Adweek, March 20], though it had previously denied the estimated $37 million account was in play [Adweek, Jan. 17]. LHC retains the estimated $200 million media account for all RJR brands.
Doe-Anderson creative director Jim White spearheaded Winston’s successful “No bull” campaign during his tenure at LHC. The effort–which humorously positions Winston as a no-additives, 100 percent tobacco blend–has been running since 1997 and “will continue to evolve” under the Louisville, Ky., agency’s guidance, said client representative David Howard.
Regaining Winston was “One of the things I’d love to have happen,” White said after being hired by Doe-Anderson last October. According to sources, his replacement at LHC, Mylene Pollock, felt exactly the opposite about the account.
Since late last year, sources close to RJR have said that Pollock, the highly touted talent recruited last March from Ogilvy & Mather in New York, openly proclaimed her distaste for cigarette advertising to the agency and the client. Pollock rarely worked the Winston account, which was handed off to a string of freelancers–only one LHC employee was on the Winston pitch team–and infuriated client executives, sources said.
As RJR intensified pitch sessions between the Winston-Salem incumbent and Doe-Anderson, LHC chairman and chief executive officer Steve Zades began informing the specific employees who would be terminated should creative duties be lost. Subsequent to this event, Adweek learned the Winston account was in play.
Neither Zades nor Pollock returned calls for comment. A representative for LHC referred all questions to the client, whose spokesman Howard said he would not comment on Pollock’s relationship with Winston, nor would he go into the details for the switch.
White was unavailable for comment, but Doe-Anderson president Dave Wilkins said his agency simply proved it wanted the business more.
“We earned the [Winston] business. We hustled for it,” Wilkins said. “We won because the quality of the work that we brought to them was better.”
Wilkins said he took great satisfaction that one of RJR’s major foes, Brown-Williamson, “is in town and they never even let us in the door.”
Doe-Anderson’s first advertising is expected to break in June. K