The news is not unexpected if you have been reading the daily (ad) biz, but it’s still sort of sad to type because it definitely means layoffs for the good people of Kansas City-based VML. Dr Pepper / Snapple Group, formerly Cadbury Schweppes, has removed the last vestiges of a WPP roster of agencies that only a few months ago also included Y&R and Mediaedge:cia by shitcanning interactive shop VML.
Considering that the DPSG soda portfolio, with flavored sodas leading the way, has outperformed category competition from Coke and Pepsi, I can definitely see why sleazy VP of Marketing Sean Gleason would want to remove them. After all, they were responsible for the tragic development, launch and massively over-estimated sales of Accelerade. What? Eh? Oh.
The good news is that, with VML out of the way, Mr Gleason can fill out his roster of agencies with an interactive shop headed by a buddy, just like a tipster says that he did with media, advertising and below-the-line.
I don’t know if that accusation is true, but a tipster who has been right before says it is, and anyway it wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened in the history of marketing.
It happened on BMW with GSD&M and on Porsche with Cramer-Krasselt and on the Burger King interactive account with Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. It happens. It’s the industry.
But it still sucks.
It especially sucks for those who will lose their jobs…there is no official word that this will happen, but after losing the Burger King account to the aforementioned CPB and now DPSG, which had seen them as agency of record with responsibility for online advertising, major web redesigns on most brands, maintenance, etc and so on, it is going to be tough to retain their staffing model as is.