Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis has refused to take part in a review of Swedish furniture company Ikea’s $40–$50 million account, ending its eleven-month tenure on the business.

Agency president John Colasanti said he and other Carmichael executives had decided to part ways with the client because they did not think a review was warranted. “Results have far exceeded expectations in a soft retail climate right now,” he said. “We stand by what we’ve done.”

Since the shop won the account late last year [WAMN: 22-Dec-01], Ikea’s president and marketing manager have both changed.

The review precedes an aggressive drive to expand Ikea’s North American operations from 23 stores to 73 over the next ten years. External marketing manager Christian Mathieu said that spending on the account might increase as Ikea grows, but subtly pointed out that the company is headquartered in Sweden, where “frugality is a key value.”

According to Mathieu, geographic location will have no bearing on an agency’s success or failure in the review, the only criterion being that pitching shops must be able to handle “an account of our size in a seamless way.” Participants can take on all aspects of the account – which includes direct/relationship marketing, creative, media and interactive – or seek outside partners.

News sources: New York Times;