Domino's Pizza plans to drop its ad agency of 13 years in what would be a big hit to holding company MDC Partners

  • Domino's Pizza plans to drop its ad agency of 13 years, Crispin Porter and Bogusky, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
  • One name being floated as Domino's pick is the independent agency Work in Progress, which was launched by former CPB executives.
  • A move would be a major loss for Crispin's parent, holding company MDC Partners.
  • A Domino's spokeswoman wouldn't comment. CPB, MDC Partners, and Work in Progress did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Domino's Pizza plans to drop its ad agency of 13 years, Crispin Porter and Bogusky, after looking for a new ad agency earlier this year, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Losing Domino's would be a big hit to CPB parent company MDC Partners, led by CEO Mark Penn, as it aims to compete with bigger holding companies.

The source said the name being floated as Domino's next agency is Work in Progress, a small independent agency founded by former CPB executives who handled many of Domino's campaigns while at CPB. Unlike with most agency moves, the company did not issue a request for proposal or hold a competitive review.

Domino's spokeswoman said the company would not discuss changes to its ad business and that CPB is still its agency of record. CPB, MDC Partners, and Work in Progress did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Domino's extended its contract with CPB by three years in 2017. But president and chief operating officer Russell Weiner decided to move the account when the contract expires at the end of October because he felt like the quality of work declined after the Work in Progress executives left, according to the knowledgeable source.

Several months ago, Domino's also named a new top marketing executive, Art D'Elia, to EVP and CMO. Brands often change their ad agencies after naming new CMOs.

Domino's spent between $441 million and $469 million on advertising in the US in 2019, according to Kantar and Comvergence. It is CPB's largest client; the source estimated the account is worth $10 million to $15 million in annual revenue for the agency.

Work in Progress, like CPB, is based in Boulder, Colorado. Its founders started Work in Progress in 2016 and used their Domino's work as key to their new business pitch.

CPB has been recognized for helping Domino's repair its reputation as low-quality delivery pizza via a combination of earnest testimonials, ads that reference classic entertainment like "Cheers" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and campaigns like "Paving for Pizza," where Domino's helped repair roads so its drivers could deliver pizzas more safely.

The agency also helped Domino's become more tech-friendly by promoting online ordering and working on mobile apps and collaborations with Ford and Samsung that let people order pizza by using emojis or while driving or watching smart TVs.

Unlike many chains, Domino's has thrived during the pandemic, with sales up 18% in the third quarter.

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