Energy BBDO No Longer Lay’s AOR

By Patrick Coffee 

The enterprising Mr. Lewis Lazare of Chicago Business Journal got a client spokesman to confirm today that Energy BBDO will no longer be AOR for Lay’s.

We’ve received tips about an unspecified change in the Lay’s account for a couple of weeks but didn’t get anything in the way of confirmation despite some hints that Energy BBDO would not be creating any new campaigns for the chip brand.

From Frito-Lay:


“Our approach across our entire portfolio of brands is to lean into different combinations of agency partners based on the needs and priorities of our brands at the time. Energy BBDO is not currently engaged for the Lay’s brand.”

This sounds a whole lot like the industry refrain about clients thinking of agencies as “partners” rather than AORs.

The underlying story here, though, is that the change has been in the works for some time; Energy BBDO has not created any major work for this particular client for several months. Its Mr. Potato Head “cannibalism” campaign came out in February, and the Lay’s “Flavor” campaign ran in 2014, so the change in the relationship is not exactly new–it’s simply being reported now for the first time.

In an April post about staffing changes at BBDO’s Chicago office related to AB InBev’s Manhattan relocation, our sources alluded to employees jumping from one account to another. These changes, as they relate to the Lay’s business, occurred several weeks or months ago.

To further complicate the picture, BBDO has not broken up with the larger PepsiCo organization as it continues to handle the Quaker business.

No word on whether Frito-Lay will seek another agency of record for future Lay’s campaigns.