There’s a New Spark at Starbucks After Agency RFI

By Shawn Paul Wood 


In what appears to be a clandestine RFI process, Starbucks has announced a changing of the guard in its media agency relationship.

Following only the first phase in review, the java giant has decided to cut ties with Omnicom PHD and hire Publicis Groupe’s Spark. Prior to the RFI and decision after the initial review, PHD was Starbucks’ media agency for the past six years.


Based on numbers from WPP’s Kantar Media, 2013 wasn’t a paltry year by any means — the company spent $95 million on U.S. measured media. That was an increase from $85.5 million in 2012, so things are looking up despite the pending chance.

The report could reinforce the “who you know” principle as this move comes less than a year after Anne Enright joined Starbucks as director of media and measurement from Spark sibling agency Starcom.

Also noted in the story: Chris Boothe, CEO of Spark, is also a Starcom vet. He also spent “[more than] two decades at the shop before joining Spark in 2012 as part of an agency revamp.”

Anything on the record? No such luck. PHD referred calls to the client, Spark declined to comment and Starbucks didn’t respond to a request.