Today in news we missed because of all the Super Bowl nonsense, FCB apparently lost the KFC creative account to Wieden+Kennedy after more than ten years — a period during which the agency produced a wide variety of work for the client.
A source who didn’t speak to us told Maureen Morrison of AdAge that the two agencies faced off in a closed pitch from which Wieden emerged victorious.
No one involved would confirm the story, but one year ago KFC’s parent company hired a new CMO — a move that often portends doom for a client’s agency of record. Coincidentally, that very CMO spent many years at Procter & Gamble and served as the North American marketing director for Old Spice when W+K launched “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.”
The internal memo from CCO Todd Tilford and Chicago President Michael Fassnacht reads as both disappointed and puzzled:
“We have done incredibly strong work for KFC over the last 10 years, especially over the last 24 months…In 2014, KFC was the most social [quick-service restaurant] brand in North America, was ranked as the second most engaging QSR brand by Forbes in November 2014, and enjoyed very strong sales results over the last nine months that outshine the rest of the QSR category. We expect this trend to continue in 2015 while our new work runs nationwide.”
The news marks Wieden+Kennedy’s biggest win since Verizon less than three weeks ago.
In other KFC news, MRM Romania continues to serve as the brand’s AOR in that country, where “Rich Kids of Instagram” remains a topic of considerable interest among young people. To promote the client’s new Smart (read: cheap) Menu, the agency challenged Romanian teens and others to “recreate” the most popular shots to appear under that hashtag…minus all the money and expensive crap it buys.
Here are a couple of selections from the resulting tumblr page with a hashtag that translates to “little money, big fun”:
The kids are clever, but without formal training they probably won’t get hired by W+K.