Wow! It doesn’t get much juicier in advertising! It all started when Dutch bank ING felt they were in need of a new agency. In the past years there had always been a lot of criticism on ING’s advertising, created by Leukwerkt Worldwide (Funnyworks), but ING kept defending it as being effective. We have to admit, Leukwerkt’s merger campaign that integrated Postbank’s and ING’s corporate identities was quite successful. But still, a ‘funny’ image is not appropriate in a time when most consumers heavily mistrust banks for their greedy nature.  In any case, a few months ago ING organized a pitch and invited four agencies; Selmore, UbachsWisbrun/JWT, Doom & Dickson and Leukwerkt. At the same time TBWA\Neboko was working for ABN AMRO – the other big Dutch bank. And things were looking good for TBWA, they were in the middle of developing their new campaign. In the ING pitch Doom & Dickson and Leukwerkt both retreated prematurely – the latter, because it was still proud of its work and didn’t want to change it. So now only two agencies were left, Selmore and JWT. But last Monday something very curious happened, ABN announced ending its relation with TBWA and continuing with Selmore! Which means both ABN and Selmore were already talking with eachother, while being involved with another partner! This also makes JWT automatically the ING pitch winner and leaves TBWA empty handed. Unless, of course, TBWA will join the ING pitch after all. To be continued…

Update (22 Jan): Yesterday in Adformatie: TBWA’s Simon Neefjes says that ING invited TBWA in December to the pitch, but decided to stay loyal to ABN – after having shared the invitation with ABN and after a satisfactory answer on how ABN saw the future collaberation between TBWA and ABN.  Also, last week TBWA presented creative work to ABN that was strongly appreciated. He confirms that it must be someone on the board that decided to break with TBWA.

Update (28 Jan): Today on Adformatie: TBWA wants to discuss terms of termination with ABN. According to the contract, ABN was legally not entitled to pull out instantly without paying any compensation. At least 15 people were working on the ABN account at TBWA.

Update (9 Feb): UbachsWisbrun/JWT officially wins ING pitch – while being the only participant left.