Fast-food chain Arby’s has fired its ad agency, BBDO, just two weeks after praising its record on the $100 million account and telling Business Insider that the agency will “be great for us” as the company prepares a total relaunch of its brand in Q3. Arby’s recently saw five consecutive quarters of sales growth following BBDO’s work.Chief marketing officer Russ Klein has instead tapped Crispin Porter + Bogusky for the account. The move was somewhat predictable, as Klein hired CP+B to run the Burger King ad business when he was the chief marketer at that company from 2002 through 2009.
The agency switch comes after Klein told BI that he wasn’t the type of client who switched agencies simply because he was new to the job (Klein arrived at Arby’s in January). He said at the time:
“Although some of my behaviour may indicate otherwise, I don’t think of myself as someone who feels the need to go chasing agencies just because I’m in a new post.” (Klein changed Burger King’s agency from Y&R to Crispin Porter + Bogusky six months into his job there.) “We help agencies be great by being great clients. I hope BBDO can be great for us.”
In an email to BI, a spokesperson for Arby’s insisted Klein was telling the truth back in early February:
“He meant what he said when he said it.”
The U-turn came quickly. On Feb. 16, Arby’s svp/marketing Bob Kraut talked up BBDO’s record at the Association of National Advertisers’ conference in New York. Among the slides he showed covering the period served by BBDO, Kraut noted that awareness of Arby’s “Good mood food” tagline was up 60 per cent in 10 months and in 2011 the company saw its “highest sales increase in 10 years.”
BBDO New York CEO John Osborn told B.I. he expects the agency to jump back into the fast-food category with another client, and wished Arby’s well.
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