Ancestry.com Launches U.S. Agency Review After Less Than a Year With Droga5

London office may continue working on the brand

The company spent more than $100 million on marketing in the U.S. last year. Getty Images
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Family history and consumer genomics tool Ancestry.com is seeking new marketing partners less than a year after naming Droga5 as its creative agency of record.

While the agency’s London office may continue working with the brand in some capacity, Ancestry.com will choose additional shops to handle its U.S. marketing efforts.

“Droga5 New York and Ancestry have amicably agreed to part ways,” said an agency spokesperson.

The statement continued: “We could not be more proud of the purpose that we developed for them, ‘Unlocking our past to inspire our future,’ as well as the caliber of work we produced which drove their business and tapped into culture in an authentic way. The relationship between Droga5 London and Ancestry is not affected.”

Droga5 New York’s debut campaign, aired to coincide with last year’s Fourth of July holiday, starred a series of American founding fathers, and an Olympics spot explored the genealogy of the American ice hockey team. The London office’s most recent work taunted Brexit supporters with a classic “Rickroll.”

A representative for search consultancy AAR Partners confirmed it was hired to manage the review but declined to elaborate. The client’s PR department has not responded to requests for comment.

The creative review in 2017 came approximately a year after the company hired Omnicom’s OMD as its media partner and followed the appointment of J&J veteran Vineet Mehra as chief marketing officer. The reasons for the current review are unclear, though parties close to the matter suggest Ancestry.com is looking to reduce its overall spend. It is also unclear how many aspects of the business will be involved in the review. Beyond the aforementioned broadcast spots, Ancestry.com invests heavily in direct marketing and other “below the line” efforts.

When the company announced the Mehra hiring, its marketing department reportedly had a $175 million budget. According to Kantar Media, Ancestry.com spent $109 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016.


@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
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