Campaign's most-read news of 2018

Nike's legal wrangle over its LNDR spot, Asda's agency review and stories prompted by ads from John Lewis, Sainsbury's and KFC make Campaign's most-read news of 2018.

Everyone loves a big retail brief. Asda's chief customer officer, Andy Murray, kicked off the year by reviewing all of the Walmart-owned supermarket’s agency relationships. The retailer went on to move its advertising account to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO from Saatchi & Saatchi but retained Blue 449 for media.

In February, Nike’s "Nothing beats a Londoner" ad exploded. But after legal challenges over the use of the term LDNR, the brand was forced to pull the spot from YouTube. In September, an intellectual property court ruled that Nike had infringed activewear brand LDNR’s trademark and could not use the term.

Sainsbury's Christmas school-play-themed ad by Wieden & Kennedy London charmed its audience and the advertising industry. Unfortunately, it also prompted complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority from parents worried that children might try to recreate the special moment "plug boy" launches himself into an electrical socket.

KFC made the most of a terrible situation when it launched a light-hearted press ad to apologise for its chicken shortage in February. In the press execution, created by Mother, the letters of the brand were rearranged to spell "FCK". The ad – and the general tone of KFC’s response – helped the chain recover from the challenge of not being able to serve its USP. 

John Lewis & Partners’ Christmas ads always perform strongly on the Campaign site. This year was no different and the reveal of the retailer’s latest spot featuring Elton John was well read by the Campaign audience. Adam & Eve/DDB created the activity.

In March, The & Partnership London chief executive Sarah Golding was forced to apologise after Campaign revealed the details of an email sent to the whole of its London agency listing the "top five" and "bottom five" female employees rated by their looks. The furore highlighted the practice of ranking colleagues in a leaving email – known to happen at agencies including VCCP, Wieden & Kennedy and Iris – and And Rising’s Sara Keegan and Poke London’s Robyn Frost proposed an alternative. The IPA, which Golding leads as president, asked agencies to stop the practice.

A group of white, straight, British male creatives from J Walter Thompson London (currently in the process of merging with Wunderman) accused the agency of discrimination after being made redundant. They claimed that they were made redundant just days after expressing their concern at remarks made by JWT creative director Jo Wallace on stage alongside chief creative officer Lucas Peon at a Creative Equals conference in May. JWT denies the claims.

In September, the John Lewis Partnership relaunched its two brands as John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners with a new visual identity and the first-ever joint ad campaign – a school play extravaganza created by Adam & Eve/DDB. The move divided branding experts.

Ogilvy made the unusual move of offering all of its staff the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy this year. The business underwent a significant restructure following the departure of previous chief executive Annette King and wanted to give employees, who may have joined before the changes, a chance to step away. Campaign later revealed that up to 50 staff had applied to leave under the process.

Campaign’s global exclusive on the return of Woodstock festival to its original site also performed strongly. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will host the event, which is in partnership with Live Nation and the agency Invnt.

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