Leo Burnett Sydney fires Subaru

Leo Burnett Sydney has fired client Subaru. Changes to the carmaker’s agency working model, where agencies must pitch against each other for every brief, has been given as the reason for the split.

In an email to staff obtained by Mumbrella, Todd Sampson, Leo Burnett Sydney’s CEO, wrote:

We talk a lot about our priorities: People. Product. Profit (in that order) and sometimes that means we have to make some hard decisions. This is one of those hard decisions. Yesterday we fired Subaru. As you know Subaru decided to change its working model to one where their agencies pitch against each other for every brief. You know better than anyone that pitching is really hard on you, our culture and our current clients. We simply don’t want to work that way. We deserve better. We have had a long relationship with Subaru, of which the last 10 years were record sales, so we all need to act professionally in ending this relationship. Whilst they have not treated us well recently, they are not bad people.

Sampson declined to comment.

Other agencies on the Subaru creative agency roster include Disciple, which handles brand, and US Sydney, which handles retail.

Subaru Australia’s national marketing manager Toby O’Bree was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Among notable ads Leo Burnett has created for Subaru was last year’s ‘crowd rider’.


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