3M Launches Creative Review After 21 Years with Grey

By Patrick Coffee 

Manufacturing conglomerate 3M is seeking a new creative agency of record to promote several of its most popular consumer products. Its current agency partner Grey will not be defending the business.

3M makes everything from car wax to “dental and orthodontic products,” but this review specifically concerns its most popular consumer offerings: Post-It notes, Scotch Brite cleaning products and Command brand adhesives (most of which one would use for hanging things on walls or other objects).

A Grey spokesperson declined to comment on the news, but 3M provided the following statement:


“With the rapidly changing global landscape, we have a responsibility to ensure we have the right agency resources for 3M’s consumer businesses necessary to win in the marketplace.  After careful consideration, we have decided to RFP for a new creative agency. Grey has been a valued partner for over two decades and has delivered outstanding work across several iconic 3M brands.”

The quote above confirms earlier reports from reliable sources indicating that Grey will not be participating in the review. Like so many other clients, 3M allegedly looks to cut its overall marketing spend — and we also hear that the St. Paul-based company would prefer to work with a lead agency closer to its hometown.

Grey has worked on 3M in the U.S. for 21 years. In 1995, the company consolidated a marketing roster that had included an astounding 25 agencies handling $40 million in business with the WPP shop. Grey, which had previously worked on “several 3M products in Europe,” beat out Leo Burnett and Bozell in a review that lasted 7 months.

“Make It Stick,” the first visible Post-It campaign from Grey since 2013, launched over the summer with two spots.

3M spent approximately $28 million marketing the three brands in question last year, according to WPP’s Kantar Media.