CareerBuilder Splits With Wieden

BOSTON said it has split with Wieden + Kennedy and will use its in-house team to fashion ads moving forward.

Richard Castellini, CareerBuilder’s CMO, issued this statement: “Wieden + Kennedy has delivered an outstanding campaign that has helped to bring the CareerBuilder brand to the next level. We made a strategic decision to leverage the expertise of our marketing pros in-house. We thank Wieden for their many talents.” The client offered no further elaboration.

Wieden managing director Tom Blessington said: “It is unfortunate that, in this economy, companies have had to make these tough decisions.” He called CareerBuilder “a truly great client” and said the agency would love to have the chance to work with them again down the road.” CareerBuilder spends $35-40 million annually on ads.

The shift in-house was unexpected in light of Wieden’s high-profile and generally well-received Super Bowl effort for the job site.

During the third quarter of this year’s game, a humorous 60-second spot called “Tips” illustrated various slightly surreal reasons why it might be time to get a new job, such as the presence of a Speedo-wearing, toenail-clipping co-worker at one’s current place of employment. The effort was tagged “Start building,” a line that bowed on the ’08 Super Bowl ’08 as part of Wieden’s first big campaign for the client.

Wieden added the business in June 2007 following a review. The Portland Ore.-based shop prevailed in the final round over Havas’ Arnold in Boston and two Chicago agencies: IPG’s Draftfcb and Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett. At the time, spending was estimated in the $60 million range.

Prior to Wieden, the client used independent Cramer-Krasselt, which fashioned memorable Super Bowl spots for CareerBuilder that featured disruptive chimpanzees.

The split with C-K was especially acrimonious. According to an internal memo written by C-K CEO Peter Krivkovich at the time, the shop’s performance was heavily measured by the USA Today Ad Meter poll following the Super Bowl. Though the chimp spots had scored among the top 10 most popular in previous Super Bowl telecasts, the ’07 campaign placed no better than 16th.

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