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A Touche of Arrogance in 'Them-Us' Ads

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April 16, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group

Agency: Tierney Group, Philadelphia

Challenge: Develop an image for the consulting firm that will set it apart from competitors, especially McKinsey and Andersen Consulting, rivals with strong brand names.

The Ads: Deloitte comes out swinging in a series of print ads that compare its philosophy to that of its rivals. One ads says: "Them: Arrogance underscores results. Deloitte Consulting: Arrogance undermines results." Another us vs. them ad claims: "Them: Only senior managers can impose change. Deloitte Consulting: Change imposed is change opposed." Each of the copy-heavy, black-and-white ads touts the benefits of Deloitte's working style. They end with the slogan: "A very different approach. For very different results."

Comment: Though Deloitte doesn't mention rivals by name, it isn't hard to imagine that Andersen, caught up in a messy divorce from its parent, is a target. In fact, the ads appear at a time when it seems most of the consulting business is in flux. KPMG Peat Marwick and Ernst & Young recently canceled their merger plans. Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse, meanwhile, are in the process of combining their businesses. Deloitte's good guy/bad guy approach is attention-getting, but has a whiff of the sort of arrogance Deloitte attributes to competitors. $$

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