BBDO Readies FedEx Delivery

BBDO is preparing what sources characterize as a last-ditch, make-or-break creative presentation to FedEx, an estimated $85 million account.

Sources said the client, which has worked with the New York-based shop for 12 years, recently requested top creative personnel changes on the account. Executives at the Memphis, Tenn.-based client are also dissatisfied with creative concepts they have seen.

Phil Dusenberry, chairman of BBDO North America, dismissed notions that the account was in trouble. “We’re doing new work for them, and we’re very confident about it,” he said. “In the category itself, there’s been a decline due to the downturn in the economy, which takes its toll on a category like that. No company in the category is immune to the whims of the economy.”

While FedEx is the leading express transport company in the world (it had an 8.8 percent growth in sales last year, according to Hoover’s Online), it has been trying to fend off the encroachments of UPS, especially in its less expensive overnight delivery service for the past two years.

“In times like this, clients expect as much response from their advertising as possible,” Dusenberry said.

BBDO broke a new FedEx campaign in January with three spots during the Super Bowl?two pregame and one in-game. The tagline, “This is a job for FedEx,” replaced the 2-year-old tag, “Be absolutely sure.”

BBDO’s most recent work for FedEx broke in March and introduced its “extra hours” service. It showed a fictitious CEO speaking during a formal dinner event. “A chief executive is only as effective as the people around him,” the man says, praising the “professionalism and poise” of his staff. Just then, a low-level employee, rushing to get a package to a FedEx office, falls headlong off a balcony and onto one of the guests’ tables. Covered with food, he continues running to the FedEx office. “Wanna stop rushing to make shipping cutoffs?” a voiceover asks. “Introducing FedEx extra hours.”

A client rep would only say, “We do have an existing contractual relationship with [BBDO].”