Draftfcb loses SC Johnson account to BBDO, Ogilvy

SC Johnson & Son has reassigned its global advertising account after a decades-long relationship with Draftfcb. The Racine, Wis.-based company hired BBDO for advertising for its pest-control and home-storage divisions and Ogilvy & Mather for ad duties for its fragrance and home-cleaning units.

Specific responsibilities for each agency are “still up in the air,” said an agency source at Energy BBDO, the agency branch responsible for the SC Johnson account. SC Johnson’s global advertising account is worth about $1 billion in billings, according to numerous media reports.

“Details as far as what duties are going to who are still being worked out,” said the source, who added that Energy BBDO will be responsible for leading “traditional advertising and digital efforts for the home-storage and pest-control divisions.”

It is unclear whether BBDO and Ogilvy will split duties and billings or if one agency will take a larger share, said the source, who added that no timeframe has been set for when work will begin, though “there was talk of fall.”

Both BBDO and Ogilvy will support SC Johnson’s digital, CRM, direct marketing, shopper marketing, media planning and buying, and traditional advertising across four product divisions, SC Johnson said in a statement. 

However, SC Johnson declined to comment on the specific duties that each agency will manage, as well as the budget assigned to each shop. It also declined to reveal a timeline or the other agencies that participated in the RFP process.

Ogilvy will operate as an integrated team with WPP Group sister agency Group M, which will handle global media buying for all categories, Ogilvy said in a statement. OgilvyAction will handle global activation work across all categories.

Laurence Boschetto, president and CEO of Draftfcb, said in a statement that it is “difficult to understand this decision, but we obviously have no choice but to accept it.” Draftfcb parent company Interpublic Group also said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with the decision and that it “will be reviewing transitional plans on the SC Johnson business.” It added that the impact to its financial results in 2011 will “not be material.”

Advertising Age estimated that as much as 10% of the workforce in Draftfcb’s Chicago office “are implicated directly” by the agency shuffle.

Kraft pulled approximately 25% of Draftfcb’s creative duties, including work with Jello, Cool Whip and Planters, in late 2010. “You never like to lose business, especially from a client you revere so much,” Boschetto said about the Kraft account earlier this year. 

Crain’s Chicago Business first reported the SC Johnson account shift on July 28. It reported that SC Johnson had narrowed finalists to Draftfcb, Ogilvy and Energy BBDO, and that Draftfcb made its final pitch on June 1.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in December that SC Johnson had put advertising duties for many of its global brands up for review.

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