Accenture’s Long and Winding Road

To paraphrase the old Certs tagline, Accenture’s $50 million global creative review is like two reviews in one.
The first began 10 months ago and produced a list of four contenders that was cut to two—BBDO and incumbent Young & Rubicam—before conflict concerns related to BBDO’s AT&T’s business-to-business account prompted the agency to exit in January. But as one Omnicom Group shop split, two others arrived—DDB and TBWA\Chiat\Day—signaling the start of a second pitch.
If completed by early May, as expected, Accenture’s agency odyssey will clock in at 12 months, giving the business consultancy bragging rights to one of the longest searches of the past year.
That’s still not in the league of the California State Lottery’s contentious pitches and re-pitches of 2001-04 (two-and-a-half years), or the U.S. Army’s lengthy search of 2004-05 (20 months), but certainly respectable as far as marathons go.
When prodded about the elongated process, an Accenture representative demurred, saying, “It has been very thorough.” Nevertheless, the company remains on track to have an agency in place to meet its goal of launching a new campaign in the fourth quarter.