Newell Brands Moves Rubbermaid, Sharpie and More from BBH to JWT New York

By Erik Oster 

Today sources told Adweek that Newell Brands has transferred global creative duties for some of its biggest product lines including Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Paper Mate, Calphalon, Irwin and Lenox from BBH to J. Walter Thompson New York … apparently without a review.

The news marks JWT North America’s third new business win since the Gustavo Martinez news broke following Häagen-Dazs (New York) and Splenda (Canada). No one confirmed the Newell win on the record to our colleagues, but if we didn’t know any better we might just say WPP’s PR team is going out of its way to show the world and its clients that JWT has moved on from the still-unresolved Erin Johnson case.

This latest move follows Newell Rubbermaid’s $15 billion acquisition of Jarden Corp. this past December and only impacts legacy brands awarded to BBH in 2013. Other Newell brands, including Mr. Coffee, Sunbeam and Rival, were not affected.


Newell Rubbermaid spent $91.6 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media.

So has JWT recovered? So far, the only major loss we can confirm following the Martinez news is Macy’s, which recently dropped the shop in favor of BBH and Figliulo&Partners. And we all now know its solution to the practices that led to the lawsuit is the sort of diversity council that many other agencies have had for years.

JWT staffers including multiple PR executives and the New York office’s head of business development have also left, though statements insist their departures were unrelated to the controversy and that decisions were made before the suit went public.

The question, therefore, remains.