Update: A source within Laughlin Constable tells AgencySpy that Buell has indeed gone to Crispin. Representatives from Crispin were unavailable for comment.
On the surface you may think Harley-Davidson, parent company of Buell motorcycles, is all about their home state, Wisconsin. Recently, the cyclemaker opened a museum honoring the all-American motorcycle company in the heart of Milwaukee. And Harley’s engine division is also based in the state. Although it seems like the company is home bred, their advertising work has been rattling lose lately, and a lot of money may be leaving the cheesehead state.
Adding insult to injury, we hear their sportbike division, Buell, may be moving its business to Crispin Porter + Bogusky. This following rumors that the Harley business was quietly being shopped around.
Yesterday, Buell’s current agency, Laughlin Constable laid off a number of employees, reports a source close to the matter. An account loss has not been confirmed as the cause of the cuts.
Could Harley, in a move to cut back costs amid stagnant sales, have made a move to consolidate the work to one shop? We can’t imagine that Crispin is cheaper, but if Harley was really looking around like we thought, that may well be what’s happening. Keep in mind that Carmichael laid off 5% of staff in December 2008 – might that have been after getting kicked from a first or second round?
More: “Harley Davidson Looking for New Agency?”