Wieden Set to Win Starbucks

LOS ANGELES Starbucks Coffee is expected to assign its $20 million-plus creative and media business to independent Wieden + Kennedy, sources said. The other finalist was Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Neither the Seattle-based client nor the agencies, Wieden, Portland, Ore., or BBH, New York, would comment.

Final presentations by the two agencies were last Thursday before six members of Starbucks’ management, including chairman Howard Schultz.
A months-long search headed by consultant Steve Boehler, Mercer Island Group, Mercer Island, Wash., started last fall, with first round materials due Dec. 18.

By January, neither of the eventual finalists was under consideration [Adweek, Jan. 19]. Starbucks had narrowed contenders to independents davidandgoliath in Los Angeles and Modernista! in Boston; IPG’s Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; Omnicom’s BBDO, Chicago, and Merkley + Partners, New York; and Publicis in Seattle.