Campbell-Ewald: What A Hot Mess Looks Like

By SuperSpy 

AdAge has a post up this morning about Campbell-Ewald’s new creative director on the very big Chevy account. Since May 2007, the CD position has been vacant. Right. Well, it’s 2008. Holding onto Chevy, doing the job right, should be of the utmost priority, so what was the problem?

As the article points out, Bill Ludwig, vice chairman-chief creative officer of the Interpublic Group went through 11 candidates (!!!) to replace Gary Pascoe, who pulled a short 16-month turn at C-E before bouncing to BBDO. In the hunt for a CD, Lim said that three, yes three people had accepted the post. Two were from outside the U.S. Finally, he ended up with Dennis Lim (pictured above) from TBWA/Chiat/Day.

I’m calling for the rewind. Get your lighters up.

1. Ludwig should have kept his mouth shut. No one wants to know that you couldn’t fill the top CD job at your shop. It’s such bad PR. What does that say about your agency, its prospects and your culture?

2. Three people reneged. THREE? The article says that they did so for different reasons. No one is buying that. What – was the pay low? Were the restrictions too great? Were the CDs given no support staff? Ludwig, again… for the love of gawd, please shut up while the gettin’ is good.

3. Way to let Lim know that he wasn’t first pick. Way to undercut his authority before he even starts.

Moving on… Later in the article, it’s mentioned that: “The agency just trimmed its staff by an undisclosed number, though the shop said the reduction was far fewer than the 50 laid off in April. A spokesman declined to comment.”

4. Aiyee! From April from September, you guys had two rounds of lay-offs? First, anyone reading our blog knows that to be true, but like, this where you should speak. This is where you say, “You know, we are laying folks off for this reason and that reason, but we’re moving forward, blah, blah, blah.” Transparency is better in some cases.

The article ends with an insight into Lim’s creative management skills: “He will also call daily meetings for two weeks of all the Chevy creative teams to ‘infect each other with ideas’ for the crucial
Camaro launch next year.”

As one super Agency Spy reader/tipster said: “Campbell-Ewald: where you can’t replace a light bulb without at least.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

More: All Campbell-Ewald News