Accenture Begins Creative Agency Review

Consulting Firm Looks for 'Fresh' Approach After Dropping Tiger Woods

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NEW YORK ( -- In the wake of its sponsorship fallout with golfer Tiger Woods, consulting firm Accenture is launching a review of its $40 million to $45 million advertising account, currently handled by WPP's Y&R.

Accenture was the first advertiser to drop its sponsorship of Mr. Woods following a high-profile sex scandal that dominated the news for several weeks late last year.

The consulting firm had more riding on the star than other sponsors, such as Nike or Gatorade (the latter of which also dumped him in February), as it made Mr. Woods the centerpiece of its marketing programs for the past six years. The golfer was meant to convey the company's commitment to high-performance business.

Accenture and Y&R rushed to replace its ad campaign with a Tiger-free series of ads that depicted animals doing unusual things. The most widely seen being an elephant surfing with copy next to it saying, "Who says you can't be big and nimble." At the time, the company said it was planning a major effort for sometime in 2010.

Y&R executives referred calls seeking comment to Accenture. According to a company spokesman, the Woods situation "was a catalyst for the timing of a new campaign," but "it's not a reaction to Tiger ... it's about taking a fresh look." Accenture is handling the process of reaching out to new agencies, and it is "speaking to a small number of agencies, and Y&R is one of those," he said. The spokesman added that the review doesn't affect its media agency, WPP's Mediaedge:cia.

Accenture devoted $43 million to domestic measured media in 2009, and about $10 million for the first three months of 2010, according to Kantar Media.

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