Between the Lines: Bendel shows no mercy

Rick Bendel's decision to sack Publicis from the Asda account raises questions about the Asda marketing chief's relationship with his former agency (page 1).

It was made, he says, because the advertising had become "less coherent". One reason for this, he argues, is that his duties as the Publicis chief operating officer took him away from the day-to-day running of the account, and that the agency had trouble replacing him.

While he's keen to put four years' distance between himself and the creative output on the account, there are those at his former agency who'll swear he had a far more hands-on approach.

None of this is to detract from Fallon's achievement in snaring the business. And although it will experience growing pains digesting an account as demanding as Asda, it's hard to find anyone who thinks the agency doesn't deserve the win.

Whether Asda and Fallon will gel is another matter. Pessimists point to the mismatch between Asda and Bartle Bogle Hegarty that led to BBH resigning the account 17 years ago. Fallon will be hoping Asda has changed its view of agencies where creative ideas are valued most.