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Agency.com Pulls Out of Subway Review

Cites 'Potential Conflict of Interest With Another Prospective Client'

By Published on .

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Agency.com's viral pitch to Subway Restaurants may have been misguided, but we'll never know.
The ad industry has been talking about the interactive shop's viral ever since it hit YouTube.
The ad industry has been talking about the interactive shop's viral ever since it hit YouTube.

The interactive shop that sparked lively debate by creating and posting a video of its pitch for the sandwich chain on YouTube has pulled out of Subway's review before learning whether it made the cut.

"Simultaneous pitches, combined with a delayed [agency] decision by Subway, resulted in a potential conflict of interest with another prospective client," the agency said in a statement. "We wish Subway the best of luck in their search for an agency. We look forward to pitching and hopefully working with this prospective client."

Agency.com declined to name the other client because of a nondisclosure agreement with the marketer.

Tony Pace, chief marketing officer of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, confirmed the interactive shop's withdrawal.

'A lot of awareness'
"They created a lot of awareness for our pitch, and we thank them for that," he said. Five agencies are still in the Subway review, he said, but declined to name them.

Chances are Agency.com knew it wouldn't make the cut among 15 contenders. From the time it posted the video, it received kudos for guts but jeers for execution. The majority of readers (61%) polled by Advertising Age questioned the wisdom of the ploy.

Pulling out "may have been a face-saving move," said one executive close to the situation. Either way, Agency.com's hit and run appears to have benefited everyone involved.
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