S.C. Johnson has dropped a huge bomb. The Racine, Wis.-based global giant in home care is putting the advertising accounts for its entire global portfolio of brands into review -- business potentially worth hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to the agency or agencies that wind up winning the business. Chicago-based R3:JLB will assist S.C. Johnson in selecting the agencies to compete in the review.
A S.C. Johnson spokeswoman said the agency review is all about improving the company's marketing services capabilities and will encompass all aspects of the company's global marketing needs, including advertising, digital/Internet, shopper marketing, promotions, direct marketing and media buying and planning.
S.C. Johnson's decision to put its entire portfolio of brands into review could spell disaster for DraftFCB/Chicago, which, dating back as far as 1953, has handled advertising for a large number of S.C. Johnson brands. Other agencies S.C. Johnson works with include RG/A, Ogilvy and Mullen. The S.C. Johnson spokeswoman indicated incumbents will be invited to participate in the review.
DraftFCB/Chicago of course is no stranger to bombshell developments. The Walmart debacle of several years ago saw DraftFCB/Chicago win the retailing behemoth's $600 million advertising account -- only to lose it just weeks later when Walmart executives began to question the manner in which the agency won the business. A loss of all or a large chunk of the S.C. Johnson business would be far more crippling to the agency because it is so much a part of the fabric of the shop.
The S.C. Johnson spokeswoman said there was no timetable established as yet for how quickly the review would be completed. But she said the review will focus on agencies that have a global knowledge and network and that align with the company's values and have a track record of building successful global brands.