The fate of pounds 10 million worth of haircare business at Abbott
Mead Vickers BBDO is in question after a decision by the German company,
Wella, to review its global account.
A switch of agency would end a relationship with the BBDO network going
back seven years.
Wella has told BBDO in Dusseldorf, the lead agency on the business, that
it is on notice. Springer & Jacoby in Hamburg and Jung von Matt are said
to have been asked to pitch. Initial briefing meetings are scheduled to
take place next month.
The review is understood to have been precipitated by a management
change at Wella, as well as possible changes in marketing strategy,
which involve at least one major launch a year. ’Wella isn’t sure it’s
getting the quality of ads it would like,’ an agency source said.
However, insiders believe Wella may be hampered in its search by the
fact that most major networks have conflicting business which would
prevent them joining a pitch.
Any BBDO repitch for the business is likely to involve heavy input from
AMV in London, where the agency and its associated companies handle
almost all Wella’s above- and below-the-line business.
New PHD handles media buying, Clarke Hooper takes care of all
promotional marketing, while Drum PHD looks after Wella’s sponsorship of
the TV programmes, Baywatch and Friends.
The main thrust of Wella’s activity in the UK has been around the
Experience shampoo and conditioner range, which rivals Procter &
Gamble’s Pantene Pro-V and L’Oreal’s Elvive. Last year, AMV also handled
the poster launch of Wella’s Viva hair colourant.
Meanwhile, the company has tried to improve the cost-effectiveness of
its ads with its sponsorship of Friends, moving with the sitcom from
Channel 4 to Sky One.
AMV began working with Wella in March 1991, resigning pounds 12 million
worth of Alberto-Culver business to take on the pan-European assignment.