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BBDO Takes Lead on Starbucks

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BOSTON Omnicom Group's BBDO wasn't without a caffeinated beverage account for long. The agency today said it has added Starbucks business following a review just one week after Pepsi-Cola shifted its domestic account to TBWA\Chiat\Day.

On Starbucks, BBDO in New York succeeds Wieden + Kennedy of Portland, Ore., which did not defend. The Seattle-based coffee chain spent nearly $60 million on ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. (Pepsi spent about $90 million in U.S. measured media in 2007).

The shift comes in the wake of BBDO's promotion of Starbucks' high-profile Election Day campaign that saw the chain give away a 12-ounce free cup of coffee to those who voted.

Terry Davenport, client CMO, praised that effort, noting that it was "BBDO's original idea and helped generate enormous attention for the brand, drive traffic to our stores, and remind everyone that the connection between Starbucks and its customers is bigger than coffee."

David Lubars, chairman and CCO of BBDO's North American operations, said, "Starbucks has amazing, extraordinary stories to tell. We can't wait to help them achieve something historical."
 
Starbucks and Wieden in September parted after four years when the client began soliciting new ideas from roster shops and Wieden chose to "opt out of the process," Davenport said at the time.

According to sources, the split over creative differences is amicable, with Dan Wieden and Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz remaining friends.

Starbucks had typically run a major campaign during the holiday season. Following a series of online spots, the brand's first national television campaign, tagged "Pass the cheer," broke late last year. One animated ad showed penguins handing a window washer a cup of coffee.

Despite its iconic status, Starbucks has struggled of late, stung by disappointing quarterly results and closing some 600 stores.