Thursday, January 22, 2015

12425: Havas Delivers Cronyism.

Adweek reported Havas Worldwide gobbled the Edible Arrangements account without a review. The AOR appointment was fueled by a past professional relationship between new Edible Arrangements CMO Rob Price and Havas Worldwide CEO Andrew Benett. “There’s something to be said for relationships,” stated Benett. “But it wasn’t just a relationship. We earned it.” Spoken like a true Corporate Cultural Collusion enthusiast. But that’s to be expected from someone enjoying the privileges of a White advertising agency running on nepotism, cronyism and other assorted isms. Heaven forbid Benett should think talent might influence an account assignment. Havas and its new client have an edible arrangement—and it’s a big bowl of bullshit.

How Havas Worldwide Won the Edible Arrangements Account Without a Pitch

A former client and some solid project work made an RFP unnecessary

By Andrew McMains

Score one for leveraging past relationships.

In 2010, when Havas Worldwide CEO Andrew Benett was CEO of sister shop Arnold, that agency pitched and won CVS’ creative account. The retailer’s chief marketing officer at the time was Rob Price.

Flash forward to 2014: Price becomes president of Edible Arrangements and hires Havas to handle some projects, based in part on his familiarity with Benett. The agency completed the projects at the end of 2014, and now the retailer has handed the shop its entire creative account without a review.

“There’s something to be said for relationships,” Benett said. “But it wasn’t just a relationship. We earned it.”

Had the projects not gone well, he said, Havas obviously wouldn’t have won the whole account.

The assignment includes traditional and digital ads and some public relations responsibilities. Media spending on the brand exceeded $22 million in 2013, down from about $29 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

As lead creative agency, Havas succeeds The Richards Group, which had worked on Edible Arrangements since 2013. Media responsibilities are not shifting and remain at Horizon Media in New York.

Havas’ New York office will manage the business. Its first work as lead shop will be a Valentine’s Day campaign that will break early next month.

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