Wieden gloats over McDonald’s win and that’s a shame


For being a winner, someone is acting a little salty.

And it’s not Omnicom, DDB Chicago or McDonald’s bespoke agency We Are Unlimited.

It’s Wieden+Kennedy. Affectionally known now as W+K.

Last week we reported that McDonald’s, in its ongoing search to remain relevant, had once again switched agencies, this time moving McDonald’s WAU to New York-based WKNY.

Congrats. Kudos. Hand claps and pat on the backs all around.

WKNY does amazing work. One hundred percent. We feature as much of the agency’s Nike, KFC and other work as we can.

Reel 360 supports you and the work you do.

We do that because we actually support ad agencies. All ad agencies. Big, medium and small.

Having people on the Reel 360 and Reel Chicago teams who actually worked on the agency frontlines affords us not just a unique and unmatched insight into the agency business, but empathy as well.

We know what it is like first-hand to be in the trenches of a pitch or enjoy the spoils of a win.

Therefore, we can whole-heartedly say that as much as we respect you and your work W+K, we don’t respect that internal email AgencySpy obtained.

In fact, we say shame on you. Here is the truncated version, attributed to Colleen DeCourcy and Tom Blessington:

Dear W+K,

“Three years ago, McDonald’s awarded its U.S. business to an Omnicom/DDB bespoke agency called “We Are Unlimited (WAU)” one of those “best of breed” solutions that holding companies cobble together to convince clients of its brilliance.

The promise of WAU was that Google and Facebook would be a part of their team and data would be at the core of everything they did. In other words, to paraphrase the old Thomas Dolby song, “They blinded them with science!” But in the end, WAU forgot the power of creativity (or arguably didn’t have much to offer). And three years later, they’ve been relegated to an operational role and WKNY will take the lead. There’s a lesson in that for all of us: it’s never either/or, it’s and/and. Insight, intelligence and great creativity win the day.

Well, WKNY brought all three and impressed the hell out of McDonald’s.”

Here is a copy of the email that AgencySpy printed yesterday:


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“Forgot creativity?”

A little pompous don’t you think? Just because you are considered one of the best agencies on the planet, doesn’t give you the right to ding another agency.

Having people on Reel 360’s staff who actually worked day in and day out on the McDonald’s account over the last year, one thing can be said for sure – We Are Unlimited didn’t forget creativity.

Like its parent agency, DDB Chicago, it embraced its ideals. The agency loved it.

No, the creatives did not always agree with Toygar’s decisions. But, show Reel 360 a creative who is always 100% on board with their CD.

But forgot creativity? Bullshit.

WAU is not steel and brick and a shingle. It’s people. Account, creative, mailroom, traffic, research.

People. People, with families, who worked their collective asses off to bring McDonald’s, who you will soon discover is not an easy client, great, amazing creative.

You, too, are people.

And you are people the Reel 360 team respects and, like all the agencies we cover, root for. But we don’t go for a metaphorical touchdown dance at the expense of another agency.

Because as much as we enjoy covering creative in Reel 360, we love the people more. Amazing, creative, talented people. People who are no better or no worse than the staff of Leo Burnett or the staff of a small, unknown agency in North Carolina.

Never forget that, W+K. You do great work, but you are not above anyone else.

Attitudes like that cheapen your win. And, quite frankly, you.

So, enjoy the massive, amazing win. Enjoy it for the next three years, because McDonald’s will get itchy again. They always do. We at Reel 360 will enjoy what you come out with and probably give it “Reel Ad of the Week.”

But never, ever forget who are you.

Just people.

And shame on you Lewis Lazare

Lewis, what exactly is up with you? Do you have a bone to pick with We Are Unlimited? Losing McDonald’s as a client is not just a loss for the agency.

It’s a loss for the Chicago community.

It’s a loss for the staff, who, like your article in Chicago Business Journal says, may lose their jobs. It’s a loss for post-production in the city who worked tirelessly with WAU on projects. It’s a loss for the craft service people who would work a shoot in Chicago.

We know provocative headlines get clicks. Headlines that include “Dump” or “Doom” do nothing for anyone. In fact, they’re cruel and hurtful.

Chicago is a different beast than other cities. They are loyal and hardworking. It’s a loyalty that is unlike any seen in Los Angeles or New York. Show some loyalty, Lewis. In the same way that Ruth Ratny showed you some loyalty and support when you were dumped from a job.

Don’t take this to mean the Reel 360 team are sympathetic, emotional snowflakes. Far from it. But we respect the people we write about. We root for them. Whether it’s New York, LA, Austin, or anywhere else, we want the people (again, that word) we write about to win.

So, Lewis Lazare you get a “shame on you” as well.

SOURCE: AgencySpy