FCB Declines to Repitch for Amazon.com

08 December 2000

Following the calling of an unexpected review of global advertising by Amazon.com, incumbent FCB has declined to participate and resigned the business.

Says Simon Bolton, president and chief executive at FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, which handles US advertising: "We have looked at the brief and the background to what they're doing, and we don't agree with it. We don't feel that right now they should be doing this."

But according to Becky Roberts, Amazon’s director for global brand marketing, the review is “really a matter of our growth”. The company, she said, now needs an agency with global network connections, although her lips were zipped as to the identity of the shops invited to pitch.

In addition to FCB, Amazon works with four other agencies across the world, among them HHCL & Partners in London and Hakuhodo in Tokyo. None are being considered in the review because, Roberts asserts, "they are not positioned to accomplish the objectives we've set out."

In the USA, Amazon spends somewhere between $35 million to $50 million annually on advertising, plus $5 million in the UK and unknown sums in France, Germany and Japan.

News source: New York Times