The announcement seems almost unreal, like a promo for the popular TV series, Mad Men, rather than an actual press release. But after reading it a second and third time we realized this wasn’t a fictional ad agency shake-up but a very real parting of ways between two of the most closely watched partners in the business.
“BMW and GSD&M Idea City will end their relationship after the current contract expires,” went the report. “We thank GSD&M for their contributions over the last five years. They have been great partners. However, we have a number of agency partners, both in the US and globally, that provide high quality work. We look forward to continuing to work with this team of great agencies now and in the future on a wide range of dynamic new products, technologies and initiatives.”
Over the past few days there have been plenty of rumors about what precipitated what had seemed to be a mutually satisfactory agency–client partnership.
The short list of viable explanations starts with the untimely death of BMW’s respected vice president of marketing, Jack Pitney, a vocal proponent of the Omnicon shop, who was killed in a freak accident on the farm he liked to work in his off hours. His relatively unknown successor, Dan Creed, goes the argument, hopes to imprint his own name on the brand with an agency of his own choice.