CLOSE-UP PERSPECTIVE: DDB’s Walkers loss shows globalism’s short-sightedness

’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?

’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

Frito-Lay.



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

through acquisition.



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.



Feature, p30.



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