In an internal memo issued today, the agency's president, Peter Krivkovich, said CareerBuilder put its account up for review after the agency's Super Bowl ads failed to rank in the top 10 in USA Today's viewer poll.
'Our total astonishment'
"To our amazement, to our total astonishment, all that astounding business success was less important than one poll," reads part of Mr. Krivkovich's memo. "C-Kers, we have to tell you -- in our entire history, hell in the history of this crazy thing called advertising, I'm not sure there has ever been any thing as baseless or as unbelievable as that. It's so ludicrous and they are so serious about that poll it's almost funny."
A Cramer-Krasselt spokeswoman confirmed the resignation, but wouldn't elaborate. A CareerBuilder spokeswoman confirmed that the account is in review, but wouldn't comment further.
CareerBuilder this year scrapped its popular "Office Monkeys" campaign, which focused on "working with a bunch of monkeys," for a new effort, set in a jungle, that attempted to highlight other things people don't like about their jobs.
CareerBuilder spent $58.7 million in measured media during 2005, and about $41 million through the first nine months of 2006, according to TNS.
Mr. Krivkovich's memo, summarizing his take on the split, reads, in part: "They wanted us to make them famous; we did that in spades (brand awareness up by 64% -- even Millward Brown, the venerable research firm, said their brand-building model couldn't explain such incredible growth). But the TV ads did not make the top 10 in the USA Today poll -- a poll that everyone knows doesn't mirror results (see the continuing Bud sales decline for one!) -- they just told us they will do a creative review."
"'Wait a minute,' we said, 'what about the incredible growth that is going on, the shares, the revenue, the awareness, the two best internet sites ever, the massive buzz, etc, etc.? What about all of that? That's huge.'
"'Yes,' they responded, 'but you [C-K] didn't get the top 10 in the USA Today poll.' 'Hold on ... we crushed every possible business metrics/barometer for success. Out of all the metrics and polls, it's all about this one? You have to be F'ing kidding, right!?'"
"'No, that's it. It's because of the poll.' That was about the extent of the conversation."