New Pitch Strategy: Highest Bidder Wins

When accounts shift from one agency to another, there is always fallout. And that fallout usually hits the losing agency the hardest. It's just the nature of the business. But Brazilian supermarket chain Grupo Pao de Acucar doesn't think it has to be that way. The chain is seeking an advertising agency and rather than just awarding the business to some agency thereby devastating the 250-person in-house agency that handles the $125 million account, the chain is asking agencies to bid on buying the in-house agency.

Five agencies will make bids including Grupo ABC Africa, Publicis, Omnicom Group's Lew Lara/TBWA, Havas and WPP's Young & Rubicam. Three others, Omnicom's Almap BBDO, Publicis' Neogama BBH and Interpublic's WMcCann have pulled out. While the deal is nuanced with details, we like the approach. We'd like to believe the chain has a heart and is watching out for its own but, in reality, they are simply insuring against the day when an outside agency would, at some point, split. By keeping the winning agency closely tied to the in-house operation -- and its revenue -- it's really a win for both sides.

It would seem there's a game of musical chairs afoot over at Dallas-based MEplusYOU. Renee McKeon, who has been with the agency for 13 years, will become the agency's Chief Creative Officer, a role vacated by former CCO Michael Davis, who has been with the agency for four years. But Davis isn't out. He will take on another, as yet undetermined role within the agency. 

The advertising industry always needs new blood. After all, once you hit 29, you're way too old. OK, kidding. But only sort of. In any event, in order to fuel the industry with creative minds, the UK's D&AD's New Blood Academy, which offers two week programs that prepare young creatives for the industry, has partnered with WPP which will offer paid internships as part of the New Blood program. WPP agencies that will be part of the program include Ogilvy, Y&R, JWT, AKQA, Grey and others.

Of WPP's partnership with D&AD, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said, “Our industry relies on a constant infusion of creative people of all disciplines. Without them we simply don’t have a business. D&AD does extremely important work in finding and nurturing young talent, and we’re very pleased to be able to support that.” Hmm, we wonder if WPP would accept a 71-year-old intern.



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