’Globalism’ was one of the busier buzzwords of the 80s. The concept
was nowhere more stridently touted than in adland where it was left to
JWT’s then chairman, Jeremy Bullmore, to take an opposing view. Where,
he wanted to know, was all this global business coming from? Name a few
truly international products, he argued, and that’s just what you have -
a few. Benetton, Coca-Cola, Marlboro, Mars, McDonald’s. Then what?
Bullmore compared the corporate globe to a Battenburg cake: each market
went all the way through but it was a pretty thin market each time. He
forecast that competition and the marketplace would remain what they had
always been - local and national.
Global ideology seeped through to some clients, resulting in a parade of
’globaldegook’ on our TV screens. Others allowed local advertising
excellence to hold sway over global decisions. Frito-Lay was one - until
last Thursday, when it stunned DDB by handing Walkers to its fellow
Omnicom network, BBDO, after a pitch called by Steve Reineround, head of
The pitch aimed to centralise all forms of communication, achieving
worldwide and vertical integration for a complex arrangement of brands.
Lays (Walkers in the UK), Doritos and Cheetos are the worldwide brands,
then there are hundreds of smaller snack brands and others acquired
DDB, Young & Rubicam and BBDO were the contenders. DDB looked a good
bet: thanks to BMP’s success in the UK with the Lineker campaign, the
network was rewarded a year ago with the pounds 30 million pan-European
crisp account, previously split between BBDO, Y&R and DDB. Y&R also
looked promising, having enthusiastically embraced integrated marketing
with its ’whole egg’ philosophy. BBDO - whose advertising brilliance is
surpassed only by its sniffiness towards integration - looked the least
promising. Then it won.
Here’s my theory. In February, the Delaney Report ran a piece on Roger
Enrico, the chairman of Frito-Lay’s parent, PepsiCo, and his lack of an
obvious successor. As one of Enrico’s top two underlings, Reineround is
an obvious candidate, although a Pepsi source was unenthusiastic. ’He’s
a little too religious, a little too rigid and uptight ... a good
manager, but not a great marketer, and he won’t be going any further in
the organisation,’ was the indiscreet verdict.
Since then, the pitch has taken place and, rightly or wrongly, a new
vision for Frito-Lay’s marketing has been imposed. The candidate for the
top job who demonstrated his marketing vision by imposing a global
agency review? And the man who made it all happen? Step forward Steve
Reineround. It has a certain ring to it.