Inside the Fight for an $800 Million Account

SC Johnson's global marketing services review wears on

SC Johnson’s global marketing services review has been brewing for so long that contender Young & Rubicam has a different CEO than when it started chasing the business just before Christmas last year. It has also been perched atop our Accounts in Review page long enough to draw internal groans.

Indeed, the grand prize is big: about $80 million in revenue to work on household brands like Windex, Glade, and Raid. So what’s the over-under? The lead horses in the race are Y&R, Ogilvy & Mather, Energy BBDO, and Draftfcb. Y&R is the hungriest based on recent client exits. And, though new CEO David Sable arrived mid-review, he has roots in direct marketing and can credibly promise integration, with Colgate as a prime example. Ogilvy’s strength lies in its global network, especially in China. And having direct unit OgilvyOne folded into the mothership suggests it can deliver the integration SCJ seeks.

With Chicago office Energy BBDO leading the charge, BBDO is trumpeting its proximity to the Racine, Wis.-based marketer. All four finalists have offices in the Midwest. But with Wrigley, Energy BBDO has experience leading a global account. Incumbent Draftfcb faces the toughest odds, and even a partial loss would be significant, given that SCJ is among the shop's largest global accounts.