Advertising Age reported Sprint cut Leo Burnett from the starting lineup on the team—Team Sprint, that is. James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell should call the agency and dramatically announce, “You suck.” Leo Burnett will continue to handle below-the-line assignments with Digitas, the alleged leader on Team Sprint, which should now be renamed B-Team Sprint. Hell, given that Sprint lost $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter, the Publicis-owned shops don’t even deserve to play on the practice squad. How the creative TV portion of the account went to a startup is a mystery. A comment at AgencySpy indicates the new agency may have the financial backing of Publicis Groupe—which sounds like the kind of Corporate Cultural Collusion that merger partner Omnicom has mastered over the years.
Sprint Taps Figliulo & Partners for TV Creative
Leo Burnett No Longer Handles Broadcast, Remains On Roster
By Maureen Morrison
Sprint has signed on Figiulo & Partners, Ad Age has learned.
It’s believed that Mark Figiulo’s shop will take on Leo Burnett’s above-the-line work, which consisted primarily of TV. Burnett will remain on the roster for below-the-line work such as retail.
Burnett has been the telecom’s lead creative agency since late 2011, after then-new Chief Marketing Officer Bill Malloy joined the company. He swiftly dispatched longtime agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners and appointed a Publicis Groupe team known as Team Sprint to direct the carrier’s $1.4 billion in U.S. ad spending.
Although Burnett was the creative agency, the account was led by sibling agency Digitas, which will remain on the business. Publicis’ MediaVest, which handles media, will also stay on.
Figliulo & Partners was formed after Mr. Figliulo, a former TBWA/Chiat/Day creative director, left Chiat in July.
The move also comes a few months after Sprint announced that Mr. Malloy will be leaving the company in 2014. A replacement has yet to be named.
Sprint and Leo Burnett did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Figliulo & Partners could not be immediately reached.
Sprint is the 24th-largest ad spender in the U.S., according to Ad Age DataCenter. It spent a total of $1.4 billion in the U.S. on marketing, $810 million of which was for measured media, according to Kantar Media. Its biggest budget medium-wise is for Network TV, with $318 million spent in 2012.