BBDO/New York, the new agency of record for Orbitz.com, could be a reasonably good fit for the travel Web site. You see, BBDO has had some experience dealing with a dysfunctional client. A big one called PepsiCo. While Chicago-based Orbitz.com isn't an operation anywhere near so big as PepsiCo, it's certainly displayed just about as much dysfunctionality in recent years, especially when it comes to advertising issues. Orbitz has churned through more ad agencies and marketing chiefs than we care to count.
That wouldn't be such an issue, really, if the work that all these marketing honchos and agencies produced had been great stuff. But it hasn't been. Most of it, in fact, has been dreadful. Which is another reason Orbitz can be glad BBDO has signed on with the company. They are certainly capable of doing well-above-average work, though their track record of late has been a bit spotty. Whether Orbitz's current marketing chief Deborah Italiano can work with BBDO to craft a smart new campaign that doesn't make the Web site seem to be a place where dummies go for their travel needs remains to be seen. But both will need to work fast to ensure yet another Orbitz marketing upheaval doesn't derail the whole effort.