Cramer-Krasselt Internal Memo: We Are Resigning Panera Bread

Krivkovich Missive Says Client Was 'Much Too Much Even in This Crazy Business'

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Panera Bread and lead agency Cramer-Krasselt have called it quits after two years.

In an internal memo issued this morning saying the shop is resigning Panera, Cramer-Krasselt Chairman-CEO Peter Krivkovich painted the relationship as dysfunctional.

The memo illustrates an increasingly frayed relationship between agency and client over creative differences and differences over performance.

"There comes a time when no matter what the acclaim for the work, no matter what that visibility, no matter how good of a relationship we have with the marketing department, no matter what the test scores and results that contributed to reversing falling comps before the campaign and that outpaced previous work and became great case histories -- despite all that: the constant last-minute shifts in direction, the behind-the-scenes politics, the enormous level of subjectivity that disregards proof of performance -- all churn people at a rate that becomes much too much even in this crazy business. The previous agency found that out as well. There is a pattern. And in the end, no amount of money makes it worthwhile. Fortunately, we have always been in a position to act in situations like these if we really, really have to."

It was not immediately known if a review would result from the pitch, though it's likely one will. Panera could not be immediately reached.

The memo continued: "That said, Panera Bread is a wonderful brand. They truly deliver on their food sourcing and quality promise. ... We truly wish Panera Bread well. We will help them in any transition in any way we can. And many of us will continue to eat there. Because it's that good. But enough is enough."

Cramer-Krasselt initially picked up the account in May 2012 after a review. The account had previously been at Interpublic's Mullen, but that agency split with Panera over what it said were creative differences.

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