Monday, September 29, 2008


In the movie O Brother Where Art Thou? a character exclaims "Boys, my wife done..." and then he spells "r-u-n-n o-f-t," thereby "protecting" a nearby child from the embarrassing truth that his marriage has failed and his wife has left.

But of course, the kid knew all along. Turns out he was better at spelling, too.

In advertising, such divorces also happen and usually the reasons for parting are just as poached in obfuscation. Case in point, when agency Wieden & Kennedy (renowned for their work on Nike) split with client Starbucks last week, agency founder Dan Wieden was quoted "There are times when it just makes sense to part ways with a client. In this case, this seems to be the best decision for both parties."

Then, via this morning's Ad Age Online, The Real Reason Why Wieden Quit Starbucks.

Some clients, like some spouses, are harder than others to work with. Gallo Winery used to be the client that always topped (bottomed?) the list of Worst Clients for their habit of changing agencies like most of us change socks. Which made it very difficult to please Ernest Gallo and make a profit at the same time. Scroll down to the bottom of Real Reason Why... story and see some other examples.

Sometimes it comes down to "Boys, my agency done r-u-n-n o-f-t!" And we kids already knew why.