CLOSE UP - GLOBAL BRIEF: Big Five fire up marketing war. Richard Cook on why top management consultants are turning to advertising

The job of the management consultant is to set the tone for business choices and best practice across any type of company. The good news is that best practice now seems to involve almost unprecedented dollars 100 million global corporate advertising campaigns.

The job of the management consultant is to set the tone for

business choices and best practice across any type of company. The good

news is that best practice now seems to involve almost unprecedented

dollars 100 million global corporate advertising campaigns.



Last week, the accountancy and consultancy giant, Ernst & Young,

announced it would run its first global branding campaign. The dollars

100 million task will be run from Manhattan by E&Y’s freshly appointed

advertising agency, DMB&B. Personally heading the prestigious account

will be John Farrell, the former chairman of the DMB&B group in the UK,

who now runs the entire North American agency operation.



The agency initially thought it would be in charge of a US ad budget

that last year barely reached dollars 13 million. Instead, it will

single-handedly co-ordinate a piece of business almost eight times as

big - a vitally important campaign coming at an equally crucial period

in the development of all the global accountancy and consultancy

brands.



Farrell will be dealing with an E&Y wholly different from the beast that

appeared to be taking shape at the end of last year. The company first

mooted plans for a global campaign in October last year but just as

quickly shelved them when it entered into merger talks with one of its

Big Six rivals, KPMG Peat Marwick.



However, that merger stalled at the beginning of this year, at which

point the Big Six firms were already becoming the Big Five, with the

merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand to form

PricewaterhouseCoopers.



Since then, the battle between the companies has shown all the signs of

escalating into an all-out marketing war. Both Andersen Consulting, the

pioneer in brand advertising work in the sector, and Deloitte & Touche

have sunk millions into branding campaigns. The first DMB&B-derived work

for E&Y will break in the late autumn. It won’t, observers believe, be

the last throw of the dice in an increasingly competitive market sector

that is now looking primarily to advertising to help differentiate its

leading players.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).