J. Walter Thompson Wins Global Creative Duties for KPMG

By Patrick Coffee 

Earlier this month, we reported on rumors that top accounting firm KPMG was holding a global creative review in New York and that J. Walter Thompson (which recently created the company’s first U.S. broadcast ad in nearly a decade) was one of the contenders.

Neither client nor agency could comment on the story at that time, but today we can confirm that JWT and WPP’s media shop m/SIX beat out the other three major holding companies to win the business for the second time (KPMG first picked the WPP shop as its global creative AOR back in 2000).

An agency spokesperson writes, “J. Walter Thompson Company is thrilled to confirm that we have expanded our existing relationship with KPMG and will now be working with the KPMG team on a number of global marketing programs.”

The internal memo, presumably from global CEO Gustavo Martinez:

“Today, I am delighted to announce that KPMG has decided to expand its partnership with J. Walter Thompson. We will soon begin working with them on several major marketing projects globally, in addition to the work we already oversee in the United States.

We earned this win — against teams from IPG, Omnicom and Publicis — because of the tireless efforts of a collaborative, blended team across J. Walter Thompson offices in New York, London and Düsseldorf, Mirum, Colloquial, and our media partner m/SIX.”

Sources claim that Martinez was directly involved in the pitch, and we think Sir Martin would approve.

As a generic consumer you may ask yourself what KPMG does, exactly. The organization advises all sorts of businesses on finances, M&A and corporate governance matters. For example, it helped Sir Sorrell himself acquire Precise Media Group last year. It also produces numerous reports analyzing how much everyone else is spending on marketing and guides telling businesses how to make sure their ad agencies are not “unintentionally [failing] to meet all their contractual agreements” due to “the evolving nature of agency compensation models.”

The precise size of the business is not clear at the moment, but in 2000 the annual value of the creative and media accounts was estimated to be nearly $100 million.

J. Walter Thompson’s New York and London offices will collaborate on the global account. This new business pickup follows last month’s pitch wins: Kellogg’s Special K and North Shore-LIJ, or New York’s largest healthcare system.