How Campbell-Ewald Really Lost Farmers and May Lose More

By Matt Van Hoven 

Update: From a CE spy on Scott’s involvement, “Scott had almost nothing to do with Navy. Alltel won’t go into review unless the Verizon deal falls through (why put business up for review if the business will cease to exist in 12 months?)”

Original story: But first, some background on what lead to the schism. There were many unanswered questions following Jeff Scott’s departure from Campbell-Ewald. You may remember the headline from our story announcing the split, “Campbell Ewald’s Jeff Scott…Canned Or Couldn’t Take It Anymore.”


We received confirmation today that Scott, 21-year managing director, board member, and finance and executive committee member at Campbell Ewald, was indeed let go, fired, tossed out.

Of the reasons we mentioned in that story (read it here), the most relevant were those relating to Farmers Insurance and Alltel Wireless (and one we didn’t mention, National City Bank, which departed after four years with CE in April, 2007).

Although Scott didn’t work on Chevrolet, he was in charge of many of the non-auto account, “…most of whom [sic] have been leaving in a hurry (such as National City Bank),” said our spy.

It was reported yesterday that Farmers Insurance put CE in review last week.

According to our sources, Scott let billings grow too high. This year alone, they sky-rocketed approximately $150 million. Up from $40-50 million according to AdWeek.

Find out what AdWeek didn’t tell you, after the jump. Trust me, you’ll want to read this.

Sources indicate that issues in the LA offices, specifically account management and creative, led to months-late and millions-over-budget “high-concept work that was off strategy and never ran,” and the strategy for which, “made no sense, etc,” according to a source.

The tale takes another twist with CE’s attempt to regain the client’s trust, which included the presence of a certain top agency person. Upon his/her inclusion in the matter, Farmers allegedly, “threw up their hands.”

What’s more, it didn’t help when that person apparently had a few too many at his/her first meeting with Farmers, after which he/she drove home “plastered.”

We can’t imagine an insurance company being too impressed with that type of behavior. I guess the responsible party (or irresponsible party, you’d say) drank the wrong Kool-Aid.

One last note &#151 we hear the Alltel account could be in trouble, too. And considering the strategist on that account, Dave Lockwood was Scott’s wingman, we could expect a few more divorce notices (erm, pink slips) in the future.

Note: The video above was made by CE for one the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and the AdCouncil for Father’s Day. If you can’t laugh at this, you’ve got issues.