I am going to list some information that intrigues me and then add my 2 cents on them as I see them. Please be warned that I may be wrong and I don’t have any inside information.
Disclosure: Even though I don’t think it affects my judgment on this story, I should make it clear that I love Saatchi & Saatchi. And I find Kevin Roberts a very insightful man and his Lovemarks idea cool. Naturally, the Saatchi & Saatchi team must be feeling great that they took themselves out of the Wal-Mart bid and got that $430m JC Penney deal instead.
From AdAge “Wal-Mart to Reopen $580 Million Account Review“,
- The deal was awarded to DraftFCB and Carat. And now “DraftFCB will not be eligible to participate” but Carat is still eligible. So what kind of “new information” did Wal-Mart have on DraftFCB to fire DraftFCB in such a manner?
- “We are open to another IPG agency in the process.” So the “new information” must be localized in DraftFCB. Interesting.
- ‘“We’re disappointed,” a DraftFCB spokesman said.‘ Well, this has to be the business-related understatement of the year. Yeap, “$580m in” and then “$580m out”, that is quite a disappointment indeed.
I would like to quote and reread Ms. Roehm statement from two days ago (Dec 5) again (from AdAge), [K: emphasis mine]
I was hired by Wal-Mart as a change agent a little less than a year ago. One of my first orders of business was to help spearhead a comprehensive agency review. Now that I have established the Marketing Communications organization and completed the agency review, it’s time to tackle my next challenge. I have enjoyed my time at Wal-Mart and I wish my many friends and colleagues there much future success.
Now, why would Ms. Roehm want to issue such a statement when she probably know that a max of a few days (two days) later, her review will be undone? With a high-profile senior executive like Ms. Roehm, her lawyer must have set in place (or negotiate) a great golden parachute for her.
I will not be surprise a bit if Ms. Roehm’s severance package include terms that forbid both sides from saying a word about how and why Ms. Roehm leave. And a great package will allow Ms. Roehm to say, “I have enjoyed my time at Wal-Mart …” in a statement. If Ms. Roehm got fired or if her package doesn’t look super great, her lawyer will be mad to let her issue the statement.
Here are more info from AdWeek with a few more quotes but not much more info from others. Please let me know if you see other news with good info. Thanks.