Wieden & Kennedy Wins TurboTax Media-Buying and Planning Duties

Unusual Win for Celebrated Creative Shop

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Wieden & Kennedy is best known for bold, dramatic creative work for clients like Nike, Coca-Cola & Procter & Gamble. But in an unusual move, it was just awarded media duties -- including the buying of media -- by Intuit-owned TurboTax.

A spokeswoman for the tax software specialist said "W&K will be doing our media buying, formerly done by Initiative." The business will be a joint effort between the agency's New York office, which will handle buying, and its Portland headquarters, which will oversee the media-planning portion of the account.

Initiative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Media-buying for the most part is handled by larger specialty agencies, who argue that they can offer clients smarter insights and more competitive rates due to their ability to buy in scale. But this move could be a sign that scale is growing less important compared with integration, especially given that TurboTax is a Super Bowl advertiser. It may mean a long-talked about trend in adland -- to integrate marketing communciations and not keep media and creative in separate silos -- is further taking hold.

The move came after a review process against a group of undisclosed participants. Although the media review was held separately from a creative review process earlier this year, both had the same outcome. W&K in July was named the new creative agency of record for the brand, so the entire account is now consolidated with the indie shop.

Said Greg Johnson, VP-marketing for the brand at the time: "The Wieden+Kennedy team understands that TurboTax is central to the financial lives of millions of Americans. They share our belief that TurboTax exists to empower people to do their taxes and get their biggest refund. With their long history of developing great work that transforms brands, we are thrilled about the prospects for this partnership."

For W&K, the win follows the agency's recent pickup of Herbal Essences' business.

Contributing: Alexandra Bruell

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