Over in Australia it seems clients have lost the ability to manage their ad agencies. Oh wait -- my bad. That's happening here too. But over in Australia, at least they're doing something
about it. Adrianne Nixon, who's been on the Australian ad scene for 30 years, has founded a program, Legends and Leaders, which has 90 senior ad execs who will act as mentors to client-side marketing
teams and help them understand how to better deal with agencies and manage relationships. Of the program, Nixon said: “Many clients think they will get the best ideas by putting all their
agencies in one room and setting them off but clients need to own that relationship better. It shouldn’t be agency versus client. They're on the same team. That sounds like a utopia, but there
shouldn’t be any barrier to working together but it has to start with the client because they hold the power. if you want to change the relationship, it has to start with them.” Well then.
And over here we thought it was the agencies who were supposed to kick ass.
Oh, how rumors fly in this business. It appears Blast Radius Executive Creative Director Steve Nesle has left the building. No, wait -- not so fast! It seems the rumor mill thought he had left, but as it turns out, he hasn't. Or hadn't up until, yes, the very same rumor mill that said he had left did an about face and said he hadn't left and was still servicing agency clients. That is until he wasn't. Still with me? Yes, Steve Nesle has officially left the building. No, really -- it's true. Until it isn't. Okay, we're done.
So you know how the NSA is all up in people's business? Well, one agency is mad as hell and isn't going to take it any longer! Brussles-based Happiness is out with Spy on the USA which supports the worldwide initiative, The Day We Fight Back, a digital protest against mass surveillance which launched February 11. With Spy On The USA, Happiness is giving the NSA a taste of its own medicine, turning the cameras on the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Maryland, USA. Visitors to Spy on the USA can click to capture footage and share with their friends through Facebook. Basically, it's a video feed of a building. But, hey -- you've got to start somewhere, I guess.
What's a retired ad man who in 1990 worked hard to convince residents of Ohio's Cuyahoga County to enact a sin tax do with his time today? If you're Alan Glazen, you flip flop, and launch a Facebook group called It's A Sin Cleveland, with the aim of overturning the sin tax. The sin tax was put in place originally to fund what is known as the Gateway complex, a multipurpose campus that houses Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena and a public plaza. Civic leaders at the time said the complex would create 28,000 jobs. That never happened, and Glazen isn't happy. Of the work he did on the project, Glazen said: “We were hired to be the people sending that message out, and that message was not honest. We were deceived because the most prominent civic leaders were just throwing out numbers." Lesson learned? It's never too late to correct the error of your ways.
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.
For, oh, at least the past 7-10 years, every prognosticator has gleefully been promising "this is the year of mobile!" to the point where it's become a joke. Now, certainly, mobile has matured and
has become a viable medium for many things including advertising. But AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto isn't completely convinced.
In an interview with The Drum, Inamoto said, “To an extent I think the promise of mobile in relation to marketing has been exaggerated. The biggest misconception about mobile and the biggest mistake that advertisers make about mobile is to treat it like an advertising channel. Instead we should use it as a way to provide service not to provide a message.”
And, being the smart guy that he is, he's right. Rather than forcing old models (*cough* ...banners) through mobile devices, brands should embrace new services. Many have. Love them or hate them, Inamoto cites Uber as a brand that's fully embraced mobile, not as an advertising medium per se but, rather, as a platform for doing business.
So, yes, mobile has finally arrived. But my hope for the medium is that we can skip past all the missteps we took forcing old advertising models onto the internet and treat mobile very differently and more effectively. Like the personal service it has become. Not a pipe through which to shove ads.
In an audit of the 1,000 posts that BuzzFeed deleted from its site, three were deleted because advertisers complained. Yes, it's true. Don't like what someone writes about you? All you have to do
is bitch a little and get it removed.
In 2013, BuzzFeed published a post about an Axe body spray ad that was, it seems, not very positive. The brand's agency at the time didn't like what they read, complained and it was removed. Also is 2013, the publication chided Microsoft about its Internet Explorer browser. According to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith, the post was deleted because its author "had worked on a Microsoft ad campaign, and BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer complained about the post to me."
A third post, published in January 2014, which discussed what brands had planned on Twitter for the Super Bowl was pulled because it was critical of what Pepsi had planned and -- oops, the brand's Twitter account was handled by BuzzFeed staff at the time. Of that decision, Smith said: "We'd never previously considered the case of an editor that would be writing about an ad that was produced by our creative team, but we decided it was inappropriate and deleted the post." Really?
Remember when advertising and editorial where separate entities? Yeah, neither do I. We've all been pummeled so hard with native advertising bullshit over the past few years that it's practically become -- much like the banner before it -- invisible. Not to mention the over-the-top, incessant use of ridiculously sensationalistic clickbait headlines that achieved nothing but to quicken the tactic's invisibility.