IKEA and Meerkats split

Comments (46)
IKEA.jpgIn a shock announcement today IKEA and Meerkats have mutually agreed to part ways. It comes after a series of honest discussions about the fit between the two organisations. Meerkats were only appointed to the business less than a year ago.

IKEA Marketing Manager, Nigel Richardson said "the decision to go our separate ways is evidence of the very transparent relationship we have enjoyed with Meerkats.

"Both parties have felt for a while that there exists between our two organisations a fundamental difference in philosophy. We share the same ambitions: greater market share for IKEA in Perth and Adelaide, but how we get there is where the difference lies.
"Neither party is wrong. It just comes down to a preference for one philosophy over another. We have appreciated all of Meerkats' efforts and have enjoyed working with their passionate team of IKEA Kats."

Meerkats Managing Director, Gavin Bain said "We are tremendous fans of the IKEA brand and it's a shame that the decision to end the relationship needed to be made. But it has been clear for a while that Meerkats' philosophy of brand-centric retailing led by regular consumer insight is just not an appropriate approach for the way IKEA see their category right now.

"Rather than continue down a path that would lead to friction, we agreed that it was best to move on."

The relationship will continue for the next two months and IKEA will begin the search for a new agency partner.

46 Comments

Anonymous said:

WTF????

Anonymous said:

Oh God....here we go....

Anonymous said:

Come on Anonymous...let it all out. Go on, it'll be good for you.

Anonymous said:

Very brave by MK to walk away, but good on 'em for not compromising on their ethos.... Great account for MF to kick start their revival

Anonymous said:

you will always find me in the kitchen at parties!

Kirk said:

Sorry to hear Bainy, Ronnie and Mike...

Anonymous said:

Dale Alcock, Stockland, IKEA...who's next?!

Anonymous said:

c'mon 9:09 do you really think they walked away?

Anonymous said:

I think it shows guts on Mike Edmonds' part not to compromise his long-term vision for Meerkats.

Anonymous said:

Ah, Gavin Bain...the master of spin!

Anonymous said:

Who's out there anyway? Rare, Cooch...maybe 303 again?

Anonymous said:

Future agency beware.
Ikea is not the account it used to be.
Bring back Benny.

Anonymous said:

9.37 Can't say for sure, but knowing the Kats, they probably didn't want to do another year of retail ads. Knowing Ikea, they probably only wanted to do another year of retail ads....

Anonymous said:

Could this be Andrew Tinnings first big client?

Anonymous said:

Has it occured to anyone that the 'big' agency model is on the nose?
Clients are seeing thru the horseshit and are learning either they or their media partners can do the work themselves for a poofteenth of the price the agency charge. Not only that, they are dealing with people who are motivated by idea's, not money.

Anonymous said:

10:39. Pfff, No!!!

Michael said:

Start the car! Start the car!

Anonymous said:

10:39am, I wouldn't have thought IKEA will be Tinning's first big account. I'd assume he'll have Mrs Mac's in the bag by then.

Anonymous said:

I wouldn't say Meerkats is a 'big' agency 11.04. So I'm not sure what your point is.

Anonymous said:

"Poofteenth"... Best. Word. Ever.

Ubiquitous Anonymous said:


"Has it occured to anyone that the 'big' agency model is on the nose?
Clients are seeing thru the horseshit and are learning either they or their media partners can do the work themselves for a poofteenth of the price the agency charge. Not only that, they are dealing with people who are motivated by idea's, not money."

At least agencies, big and small, have someone to check their grammar and spelling...

Anonymous said:

11:47 Pfff, No!!!

Anonymous said:

This partnership was never going to work. Meerkats charge like wounded bulls and it's hard to run an account when the client wants to be the creative director.

Anonymous said:

Hey 2:53, I liked 11:04's idea's thru and thru. She seemed to be an authority on horseshit.

Anonymous said:

It's a shame but good on the agency and the client for agreeing that the relationship wasn't working. I thought it was a great fit at the time - an agency that believes in branding and a client that has a great brand.

Anonymous said:

Leave your ego at the door....

Anonymous said:

She?

Anonymous said:

The Ikea brand is going backwards. Changes on the client side are killing it.

At 303 Ikea used to create fresh, entertaining and well thought out campaigns. They had to deal with one marketing manager over a 10 year period.

Marketforce fired the guy who won them the business and then got screwed because they had 3 different marketing managers over 12 months.

Maybe Meerkats just fucked it up, but if rumours are correct, they had to deal with an Ikea who felt they don't need an agency because they could do things better in house.

Rare, back to 303, or in-house?

Anonymous said:

When you buy an Ikea product, it comes with a single allen key, sufficient to assemble the product perfectly. Function and value work together to provide utility. Maybe agencies are simply trying to assign too many tools to the job?

Anonymous said:

Consumers are not items of furniture...

Anonymous said:

I am a doormat.

Ethos my arse. said:

If Meerkats and IKEA had split amicably, would Meerkats PR release have been so condescending? Of course not. They would have had a little more decorum and discretion. Only jilted lovers go around rubbishing their exes.

Anonymous said:

Ray Van Kempen in house?

Anonymous said:

8.26 - Meooow....

Anonymous said:

I think 303 should consider taking this client on again They did a great job lat time they had it. I could never understand the move in the first place?

Anonymous said:

8.26 - It's maybe cause they got screwed

Anonymous said:

Hands up anyone who hasn't worked with a client that doesn't agree with the direction the agency want to take.

Probably not as many hands up from those that sack the client as a result.

Maybe winning awards and preserving your agency's "brand-centric retailing philosophy" (WTF), is more important than doing what you're contracted to do, selling the client's product.

Good luck to you if you can afford to do this but be careful what you wish for, these "precious clients" may start to steer clear of the precious agencies.

Anonymous said:

7.28
Ask anyone at 303 why they lost Ikea and they will tell you: Nick Cleaver.

Anonymous said:

Rare charge like wounded bulls too - so probably not a best fit there.

Dirty Deeds said:

You'll alway find me in the kitchen at parties!!

Anonymous said:

It is clear that 9.30 has no idea what they are talking about.

No one on this blog is saying that agencies can't or don't want to sell products for their clients. It's just that the better agencies in town (303, Marketforce, Meerkats and others) recognize that continually chasing short term sales spikes at the expense of long term relevance is fundamentally flawed. Just ask WA Salvage, Houseworks or any of the other retailers that went down that path.

It is the clients that as you say 'steer clear' of this type of advice that ultimately suffer.

Anonymous said:

3.17pm
This is Ikea we are talking about. They are a global brand with almost 300 stores in 35 countries. They have over half a billion visitors around the world. Not really WA Salvage, isn't it?

Old school retail in a new world said:

In my personal observation and opinion, IKEA's marketing 'formula' has remained static despite a changing world outside its doors.

Even ex IKEA staff I have met in other companies try to replicate the IKEA way which is basically flood the market with catalogues and do retail ads in traditional media (TV, radio and press).

Then they are surprised when it doesn't work as well as it use to!

There are a lot more competitors out there and many more that mimic IKEA's offer and/or products. Some of the competitors actually try not to overwhelm and confuse customers by making their store so huge that people cannot just nip in and get a few things as IKEA have done in its move to a gigantic store in Perth.

IKEA have changed other things, not just their staff over the years - much more stuff made in China and, to my view when I have had a look around there, a bit of the quality brand pillar is slipping.

As for customer insights - dont make me laugh - the only thing I have ever been asked for is my postcode so they know where to send more catalogues out to!

I think Meerkats are well out of it regardless of why or who did the parting of ways

Anonymous said:

Old school retail in a new world

you are either:

a: Drunk
b: Gay, this is the bitchiest most camp response I've seen so far
c: An idiot, have you seen how busy Ikea is? Somethings working
d: All of the above

My guess, and I'm being kind is "c"

any other takers?

Anonymous said:

Ikea is 1% inspiration, 99% retail. Get that mix right and the account is yours

what goes around said:

Marketforce deserved to lose Ikea . They took the client for granted, firing Beards, multiple account co-ordinators laid off, multiple account managers laid off / quitting, senior suits shooting down superb digital & experiential ideas in front of the client... they got what they deserved there. Can't comment on 303 or Meerkats.

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