Retail accounts are to many agencies what Vinnie Jones is to
ballroom dancing - out of step. You need only recall the time Asda and
Bartle Bogle Hegarty ended their unlikely pairing to understand how
wretched such relationships can become.
Without careful assimilation, a retail account can have a divisive
effect on an agency. Creatives will sell their mothers rather than work
on it and the result is a retail ghetto to which the less talented are
confined. Clients make matters worse by claiming they want
brand-building advertising only to revert to type at the slightest dip
in store traffic.
So let’s raise a glass of Sainsbury’s champagne to Abbott Mead Vickers
BBDO, which last week won the Halfords account. Who said retail business
debilitates any agency that touches it?