BBDO New York Is No Longer Subway’s Creative AOR

By Erik Oster 

BBDO New York will no longer act as Subway’s creative agency of record.

“We continue to work with a variety of agencies including BBDO, MMB and many others,” a Subway spokesperson said in a statement.

BBDO and MMB both declined to comment, referring questions to Subway.

Subway appointed BBDO New York as its creative agency of record in August of 2015, following a review which saw incumbent MMB defend against BBDO, The Martin Agency and McCann Erickson. MMB, which had handled the account since 2005, responded to the loss with a series of layoffs. Last December, Subway appointed Joseph Tripodi as its new chief marketing officer, following Tony Pace‘s decision to step down and launch his own marketing firm.

BBDO New York’s first campaign for Subway arrived later that month and took a look back at the fast food chain’s roots. A subsequent effort this June took a very different approach. At the time we wrote that it seemed BBDO and Subway were “confused with where to take the brand next” following its “Founders” campaign.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter said that Subway felt pressured to make an agency switch after the fallout surrounding the crimes of former spokesperson Jared Fogle and, while Subway wasn’t unhappy with BBDO’s work for the brand, it felt its former agency better understood the business, preferring its more retailer-driven approach. In August, Subway released a spot created by MMB which took the brand in a different direction, introducing a new logo and the “#SearchForBetter” hashtag. According to the aforementioned source the “Search For Better” approach will be the focus of the brand’s advertising going forward, with MMB taking the lead position on related future projects. They added that MMB is currently hiring on the account, following last September’s layoffs.

While BBDO remains on Subway’s roster and may work with the brand in the future, the source claims the agency is not being assigned any new work at this time.

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