Grey celebrated its performance at the Cannes Lions in June with leather, whips and chains. The WPP Group agency hosted an S&M-themed "Fifty Shades" bash on the roof of the JW Marriott, high above the shimmering Mediterranean.
LendingTree is moving its creative business to Grey San Francisco from Merkley + Partners, the marketer's agency of nearly three years. Grey landed the assignment after a review that began with 11 agencies and came down to three finalists, sources said. It's not clear if Merkley defended. Annual measured media spending is around $20 million.
To personify new client LendingTree, Merkley + Partners turned to a puppet. In a new TV ad, "Lenny" is a green-faced, straight-shooting friend to Len, his human counterpart. As both sit before the desk of a bank-loan officer, Lenny cries "BS" after the lender tells them they "won't find a better offer anywhere."
LendingTree is expected to hire a new lead creative agency in the next week or so, following final pitches last week. Three shops are competing for the business, according to a source. The identities of the finalists could not be ascertained.
LendingTree is at it again. Less than a year after a protracted search for a new lead agency, the online player is reviewing its creative business once more. Company executives will meet with about a half dozen shops in the next few weeks and, based on those meetings, will select a handful of finalists, according to sources.