Kansas City-based interactive agency VML has come in for a lot of fire here on The Daily (Ad) Biz despite Y&R holding official Least Favored Agency status.
It all started so well, with kudos to the agency for the nicely designed Snapple website. But then the readers weighed in and VML got raked over the coals for taking a three quarters of a million dollar bath on site production.
And then more comments came in calling out VML staffers by name and slamming the account and creative team that works on the Cadbury Schweppes business.
The hits keep coming. Cadbury Schweppes launched a new product line, A&W and Sunkist Floats, to much fanfare, but with no website. No website even though the press release pointed people to it.
Again, the word is that the boys (and girls) at VML bear much, if not all, of the responsibility for yet another big error:
I am an employee of the carbonated side of Cadbury Schweppes, although I don’t work directly with VML, I can say that this is another VML screw up. I work in very close proximity to the A&W (and other carbonated drink) managers in Plano, TX. Needless to say, they are pretty fed up with VML’s attitude, processes and account management.
Due to VML’s “holier than thou” attitude towards Cadbury’s agency partners, nobody wants to deal with them. – so it’s bad communication all the way around and a press release goes out without VML’s input and you get what you have here. A half-assed lunder construction page thrown up to cover VML’s slow asses.
Let’s just hope that that VML comes through on the website, but rumblings within the office down here in good ‘ol Texas is that the website doesn’t hit the mark. Of all the concepts presented, this was the only “usable” one that came close. Due to budgets, VML wouldn’t budge on any redo and they had to make this one work. People aren’t to happy about it either.
2008 will be interesting for the Cadbury and VML relationship.
Coupled with an email from a loyal tipster that alleges that the first round concepts from VML were so bad that the internal interactive team did not even show them to anyone else and just told VML to actually read the brief and have another go, 2008 is going to be very interesting indeed.
I can’t wait.