The battle for the $1 billion S.C. Johnson advertising account -- one of the most hotly-contested and closely-watched agency reviews of the new decade -- is moving along.
Sources now tell us the agencies in serious contention for the $1 billion S.C. Johnson account now housed at DraftFCB/Chicago may have been whittled down to no more than five. And (drum roll) they are said to be (in alphabetical order): incumbent DraftFCB; McGarryBowen; Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA/Chiat/Day, and Young & Rubicam.
David Beals at R3:JLB/Chicago, which is orchestrating the review in conjunction with S.C. Johnson executives, declined comment. But sources say S.C. Johnson wants to make a decision by the start of its next fiscal year in July. Or preferably several weeks earlier.
The winner, of course, will need to have some global heft to service such a huge account in all markets where it must be serviced. And any of the aforementioned shops certainly would have the necessary resources at their disposal to handle the S.C. Johnson business globally.
But our sources say McGarryBowen, which has had huge success courting Kraft Foods accounts in recent years, just may have an edge. Sources say Mark Modesto, ousted abruptly from DraftFCB last summer, has been reaching out to McGarryBowen, which could possibly be interested in his services once his non-compete clause with DraftFCB expires. Modesto could be key in deciding how this review plays out because he is said to still be very close to key members of the Johnson family that control the giant household products company.
And though McGarryBowen itself does not have a huge international network, it is now part of Dentsu, which is well-established internationally.