Mystery surrounds, as they say, the unheralded departure of Paul Weinberger, chairman of The Red Brick Road and Keeper of the UK £110m Tesco account, now under review.
The rupture won’t be complete: Weinberger tells us he will do some client-consultancy after his “retirement”. But we are left with the distinct impression he doesn’t think one of his clients will be Tesco: ”I’ve enjoyed a wonderfully collaborative relationship with Tesco over the last 20 years or so but, sadly, you have to know when your time is up,” he says cryptically.
Weinberger actually worked 22 years on the account, first at Lowe then TRBR. No one is closer to “Every Little Helps” , which he has shepherded (creatively speaking) since its launch.
Tesco, I’m told, is as baffled by this development as everyone else (at any rate, everyone outside the agency). It fully expects TRBR to repitch.
Something Tesco chief executive Phil Clarke unintentionally said yesterday while putting some context into the annual results?
All we know is Weinberger is very upset that Tesco decided to put the account into review in the first place. But why this sense of grievance should precipitate an announcement now – as opposed to earlier or, better still, after the pitch – is anyone’s guess.
As are bookie’s odds on TRBR now retaining the account…
UPDATE 20/4/2012: It has emerged that the main reason Weinberger quit is because Tesco failed to communicate that it wanted him on the pitch list. A courtesy, you would think, after nearly 23 years of serving the brand.
I can also exclusively reveal that the rebranded The Red Brick Road will be called … The Red Brick Road. Apparently, everyone in the agency hated the idea of a name change. Makes sense to me, at any rate.