Ikea Selects Secret Weapon for $40 Mil. U.S. Business

ATLANTA Ikea today said it will shift creative work on its U.S. account to roster shop Secret Weapon.

The client plans to introduce new work from the small Santa Monica, Calif.-based independent early next year.

The majority of the work had been done by MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, which yesterday said it resigned the account, citing irreconcilable differences over the company’s marketing plan [Adweek Online, Nov. 15].

“We had been working for the past few months to resolve some differences and it had become obvious to all involved that this was the right move to make,” said Rich D’Amico, regional marketing manager for Ikea.

The Swedish furniture retailer had moved much of the business from CP+B during the past year. Since January, the company has hired Anita Santiago Advertising in Santa Monica, Calif., to handle the company’s Hispanic advertising and Secret Weapon for the company’s West Coast advertising.

“We wanted additional partners to help us reach a wider range of consumers,” D’Amico said. “We want to use as many talented people as we can.”

The disagreement with CP+B centered on how best to promote the company’s furniture as Ikea continues to grow in North America. The company wants more emphasis on its traditional furniture, an approach that Secret Weapon developed in a national campaign the company launched in September.

“We want to show who we really are,” D’Amico said. “This campaign really communicates another side of Ikea that need to get across.”

CP+B had worked on Ikea since February 2002, when it prevailed in a review for Ikea’s North American account over finalists Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in New York, a WPP Group shop, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, an Omnicom Group agency. Incumbent Carmichael Lynch, an Interpublic Group holding in Minneapolis, did not participate in the competition, which was run by Boston consultancy Pile and Co.

Horizon Media in New York will contiue to handle Ikea’s media chores, D’Amico said.

“For quite some time, it has been clear to us that we do not share the same vision for Ikea’s business,” CP+B said in a statement on Monday. “While we pride ourselves on the longevity of our client relationships, we also believe that it is in neither parties best interest to continue this relationship.”

CP+B declined further comment.

In 2003, CP+B won the Grand Prix at the International Advertising Festival at Cannes for an Ikea TV spot called “Lamp.”

This story updates an item posted on Nov. 15 with the news that Ikea’s U.S. creative will now be handled by Secret Weapon.