Facebook appoints multiple agencies to lead flagship brands in marketing model shift

The More Together campaign from W+K

Facebook has restructured its agency model, adopting a broad spread of top global agencies from ad land to lead each of its apps.

Ahead of the Cannes Lions Festival, the tech giant announced that it would continue to work with indie agency Wieden + Kennedy, but has expanded its partnership with Publicis’ Leo Burnett, and has hired WPP's Ogilvy, Omnicom's BBDO, and Accenture's Droga5 at a time when many of the world’s top brands are streamlining their agency rosters.

It said that the agencies were selected based on their ability to “build timeless brands”, with award wins and their respective geographical presences also having been taken into account.

The accounts

The mothership Facebook account will stay with longtime partner Wieden + Kennedy, the agency behind Facebook's 'More Together' campaign. W+K will continue developing global creative for the social network.

Publicis’ Leo Burnett, however, takes on an expanded partnership and has been rewarded the lead on separate app Messenger. Facebook cited the agency’s "strategic strength and creative leadership" as the perfect tools to tackle Messengers' issues around privacy and interoperability.

Britt Nolan, president and chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, said the pair were “taking the relationship to the next level”.

Elsewhere, Ogilvy is to be Instagram’s first creative agency of record.

Lauren Crampsie, president of Ogilvy New York, said the team is “humbled” to have won the global account and added: “The diversity of our teams will play a paramount role and our next generation of leaders will shine.” This account will be run out of New York but will leverage talent from across the global network.

Facebook's other messaging platform WhatsApp has partnered Omnicom’s BBDO. The agency's “great strength” in emerging markets like India and Brazil helped influence the win.

Andrew Robertson, president and chief executive of BBDO Worldwide said: “We’re thrilled to work with this team to help communicate the great value this product brings to people around the world.”

Droga5, part of Accenture Interactive, will take the lead on Facebook’s "corporate narrative". The recently-acquired agency said it was an "exciting opportunity" to take up “at an important time in [its] company journey”. Of course, Droga5 now also has a lot to prove, having been acquired by Accenture Interactive earlier this year.

And finally, Facebook’s in-house team Creative X is to focus on “on-platform, events, experiences, websites and social posts".

The appointments are caveated with a demand for diversity and inclusion across these agency partners. Facebook has requested that its creative shops put in “place plans or programs to drive diversity and increase the representation of women and/or underrepresented minorities as a company”.

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