Arnold Worldwide No Longer Lead Agency for CenturyLink

By Erik Oster Comment

Arnold Worldwide will no longer serve as lead creative agency for CenturyLink.

Sources claim that CenturyLink has ended its relationship with the agency and launched a review, but Arnold claims it is still on the client’s roster.

“With CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications, they have expanded their roster of agencies to allow for cost efficiencies,” an agency spokesperson wrote in a statement. “There was not a review and Arnold is still a roster agency.”

We reached out to CenturyLink, which declined to comment, stating that it doesn’t discuss its agency relationships.

CenturyLink named Arnold as its lead creative agency following a review in November of 2014. Its work for the client included a February, 2016 ad starring Paul Giamatti.

Last month, we reported that Arnold went through a recent round of layoffs at its Boston and New York offices which impacted 32 employees. The staffing cuts followed the agency parting ways with Carnival in May, preceding a review which concluded with the selection of Anomaly as the new creative AOR for the cruise line, and Hershey announcing in August that it was consolidating its creative account with MDC Partners.

Arnold’s future relationship with two other clients are also unclear.

Sources claimed in December that Angie’s List, which named Arnold as its lead creative partner as part of a brand refresh last January, was no longer working with Arnold. An Angie’s List representative commented that the company was “still evaluating our 2018 ad strategy and agency relationships” at the time.

When asked about KAO’s relationship with the agency, KAO senior vice president, regional executive officer, Americas and EMEA mass business Dave Muenz, Sr. said in a statement, “We have and may continue to partner with Arnold on a project basis.”

2017 saw a series of executive-level changes for Arnold Worldwide. Early in the year, managing partner, executive director Barbara Reilly left to go client side at Kaplan University and senior vice president, marketing director and head of new business Michael Shonkoff joined former managing partner Don Lane at Draft Kings. Chief creative officer Jim Elliot later left to be replaced by DDB veteran Icaro Doria.

Lindsay Rittenhouse contributed reporting to this story.