Tuesday, July 21, 2015

12779: Subway’s Exclusivity No Secret.

Advertising Age reported Subway launched a review for a fresh White advertising agency, and the sandwich chain is keeping the competitors’ identities secret. “Subway confirms that it is conducting a closed review of its creative advertising,” said a spokesperson. “Based on confidentiality agreements, we are not disclosing participating agencies.” Wow, that takes exclusivity to a whole new level. Subway is open to disclosing the ingredients in its awful products, yet unwilling to reveal which White advertising agencies will vie for the account. Didn’t they learn the dangers of covert activities from Jared Fogle?

More Upheaval As Subway Reviews Creative Account

Move Comes After CMO Leaves, Chain Suspends Relationship With Jared

By Maureen Morrison

As if there isn’t enough upheaval at Subway—yesterday global Chief Marketing Officer Tony Pace said he was leaving, two weeks after the chain suspended its relationship with spokesman Jared Fogle—now the fast-feeder is throwing its creative account into a mystery review.

“Subway confirms that it is conducting a closed review of its creative advertising,” said a spokeswoman in a statement. “Based on confidentiality agreements, we are not disclosing participating agencies.”

Subway’s creative work, as well as Hispanic and digital, is currently handled by Boston-based MMB, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It’s not clear whether MMB, the agency of record for the chain since 2005, is participating in the review. Other agencies on the roster, such as WPP’s MediaCom and Dentsu Aegis’ 360i, are not affected, the spokeswoman confirmed.

It’s been a tumultuous couple of weeks for the chain. Subway suspended its relationship with longtime spokesman Mr. Fogle on July 7, the same day after federal authorities investigated his home. Authorities did not say why they investigated the home, and Mr. Fogle was not charged with a crime, but Russell Taylor, executive director of the Fogle Foundation, a group that is dedicated to helping teach kids healthy lifestyle habits, was arrested on child pornography charges back in May.

Mr. Pace’s departure to form a consultancy called Cerebral Graffiti followed not long after, though Mr. Pace said publicly yesterday that he move was unrelated to the Jared issue.

The agency review comes as the chain is seeking to reverse a sales slide. Subway last year had its first decline in U.S. systemwide sales in years, with a 3% drop, according to Technomic. Though sales were down, store count was up almost 3% in the U.S. in 2014, though, to 27,205.

Much of Subway’s broadcast advertising has over the years has focused on a mix of Mr. Fogle, value advertising and more recently, promotion of premium-priced products. Though Mr. Fogle has appeared in recent ads, he hasn’t been featured as prominently as he once was, as the chain diversified its marketing and incorporated its Famous Fans. The promotion of more premium sandwiches that include ingredients like avocado came sometimes at the expense of the marketing for its $5 footlongs, a product that brought in cost-conscious customers.

Subway in 2014 spent about $533.2 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar Media, up 3.5% from $515.2 million.

1 comment:

consultahell said...

Who's bidding to be AOR?

White ad agency whose parent holding company has enough deep pockets to front the hundreds of extra hours of manpower needed to bid.

Other white ad agency under the same holding company banner, because the holding company is hedging their bets that at least one of their agencies will land the client.

Some poor independent shop that honestly thinks they have a chance, but doesn't have the money to compete with the other two. Also white.

And yet another white ad agency who has been teamed with an ethnic ad agency even though they don't want to work with them, and won't let them take or show any kind of control, and are only working together because the parent holding company they have in common has convinced them that Subway needs to see "multicultural expertise." They'll cut and run and separate if by some miracle they land AOR duties, with the white ad agency getting all the best assignments and money.

Finally another white ad agency under a different holding company banner, who's throwing down extra wads of cash over and above the usual, in the hopes of beating all of the above.

In otehr words, the usual.