In Australia Clients Are On Top (Or At Least They Should Be)

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.

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  • Saatchi & Saatchi Opens Dallas Office, Will Recruit At SXSW

    Are you going to SXSW? Do you want a new job? Then, it appears, you might want to hook up with Saatchi & Saatchi, which is opening up a Dallas office and will be trolling the streets of Austin during SXSW for new hires. 

    The new office is for the agency's Team One unit, which focuses specifically on the Toyota and Lexus accounts. The agency's move to Texas is in reaction to Toyota moving its U.S. sales and marketing operations to Plano, Texas. 

    And so between barbecue and overcrowded sessions, head over to the SXSW Job Market at the JW Marriott (Floor 2). The hours are Friday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • MRY Hires Drones As Employees, Says They Will Be A Game Changer

    As part of its sponsorship of the New York City Drone Film Festival (yeah, apparently it's a thing), MRY put out a video which envisions what life would be like in an agency if it hired several drones as employees. 

    The comical, tongue-in-cheek video stunt has MRY CEO Matt Britton waxing eloquently just like any other agency CEO might do when talking about whatever bleeding edge, innovative, cut-through-the-clutter stunt of the week agencies are so prone to do.

    Britton talks about a crop of drones that have come into the agency with some tremendous creativity and yet the rest of the agency isn't so high on the idea complaining about the more scary elements of the drones. Britton isn't deterred. He thinks they're going to be a game changer.

    Watch the video here.
  • Saatchi & Saatchi's Kevin Roberts Says Marketing Is Now All About Table Licking

    Hmm. First, TV was dead. Then advertising was dead. Now, according to Saatch & Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin -- aka Mr. Lovemarks -- Roberts, marketing is dead. Now it's all about creating a "movement." Yeah, that sounds about right. The kind of movement one makes when they visit the bathroom. 

    But Roberts is a bit more eloquent saying: “You do that by figuring out how you add mystery, sensuality and intimacy to a brand. Sensuality: we feel the world in five senses. Whether you like this room or not, [the architect] Antonio Citterio designed it and all five senses are at work in here. I mean, people want to lick this table.”

    What. The. Actual. F*ck?

    If Lovemarks wasn't crazy enough, now Roberts wants us to go around licking the brands we love. What is up with that, dude?

    Apparently, though, his followers at the agency love him. One such follower put it thusly: “His personality does not transfer to paper. He overdoses on the bullshit massively, but he is a great leader and without him Saatchi & Saatchi would probably not exist.”

    Overdoses on bullshit. Yeah, that sounds about right.
  • Fuel Interactive Re-Brands to Fuel Because, Well, Typing Two Words Took Too Long

    The agency formerly known as Fuel Interactive, not to be confused with Fuel Industries -- oh wait, they changed their name too -- has changed their name to, simply, Fuel. Why? Well, as the press release says, "to better reflect the effect the addition of their capabilities has on a client's business." Okay...so the agency now just fuels brands? But not interactively? Wait, is there still such a thing as non-interactive marketing? I'm confused.

    Maybe Fuel CEO Stuart Butler can explain more succinctly. He says: “It’s been a period of unprecedented growth for us here at Fuel. With these changes came a fundamental shift in our focus and how we approached solving problems for our clients. We found that our old name no longer captured the essence -- the spirit and energy -- we are looking to bring to the market. We needed something that reflected what we really are, what we really do for our customers.”

    Right. Because no other agency on the planet fuels growth for their clients, right? I think everyone in the agency just got tired of typing Fuel Interactive all the time. Now they can just type Fuel. Because, you know, shorter is always better.

    In any case, they agency is excited about the change. Butler adds: “The rebranding has ignited us to reinvent the way that the hotel and travel industry does marketing. Our services make hotel marketing simple. And our new logo, new Web site and tagline provide a new feel and energy that brings us to an entirely new level of drive.”
  • New Cannes Glass Lion to Eradicate Boobs, Booty And Dumb Dads From Advertising

    As if there weren't already enough Cannes Lions awards to suck the ad world dry with entry fees, now there's another one. Cannes has introduced the Glass Lion to honor work that shatters gender stereotypes. The organization notes the award "specifically recognizes work that challenges gender bias and shatters stereotypical images of men and women which remain rooted in marketing."

    It would seem the aim of the new award is to root out sexism, misogyny, misandry and all other forms of gender stereotyping from advertising. What a bummer. I'm going to miss those Carl's Jr. ads. Okay, kidding. Well, maybe not completely.

    Anyway, Cannes has brought in the master of stereotype eradication to head up the Glass Lion Jury. Founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld, MakeLoveNotPorn and former founder of BBH New York Cindy Gallop will head the jury. Gallop is a well-known proponent of proper gender representation in advertising.

    Of the award category, Gallop says, “I couldn't be more thrilled about the introduction of the Glass Lion, which demonstrates Cannes Lions' commitment to ensuring that both our industry and the work we create not only more accurately reflects the world around us, but actively changes it for the better. I am honored to be Jury President, and look forward, together with the jury, to celebrating work that will set the gold standard for creative and sociocultural change."

    Now even though Cannes Lions may never stop bleeding the industry dry with its entry fees, the organization will allocate all the Glass Lion entry fee proceeds into programming that promotes a more gender-neutral media landscape.
  • This Director Of Earned Media Wants To Be Ace Ventura Pet Detective

    While every morning she's grateful her clients haven't become part of some social media disaster and Twitter is her go to outlet for news, Huge (no, she isn't huge -- that's the name of the agency) Director of Earned Media Alyssa Galella says that if she weren't working at Huge, she'd love to be "a detective. Or work in an animal shelter. I would basically be Ace Ventura, Pet Detective."

    That's an interesting goal for a woman who was recently named one of PR Week's Innovation 50 or who accomplished a killer social media stunt by sending 99 boxes of Cap'N Crunch cereal to Jay-Z who later mentioned the stunt on the radio. Of course, yes -- she's just kidding, but Ace Ventura who certainly was a character. And I like people who aspire to be interesting characters.

    But what's most interesting about Galella, who is far from being an old timer, is her wise view of social media today. She says, "There's no longer a dividing line between 'media' and 'social media.' You need to be fluent in both traditional media relations and social media to do your job most effectively. Most of what I've learned hasn't been on the clock, either -- take the initiative to read a ton, be active on social media, attend events, and take classes you're interested in." You know -- become educated in the ways of life. 

    Thank God. Someone who doesn't think Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are the only valid forms of media in existence.

  • Havas CEO Yannick Bollore Keynote At MIPTV To Explore Shifting Tides of TV In The Digital Age

    So MIPTV -- a conference that takes place in Cannes and explores the production and distribution of TV, film and digital content -- is right around the corner. It's not Cannes Lions and it's not necessarily an ad conference, but as TV proper continues to die and "content" reigns supreme, the world of content production and advertising continue to blur.

    Havas CEO Yannick Bollore will deliver a keynote entitled "Content Redefined" on Tuesday, April 14 at 12:10 p.m. in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals. Bollore will explore the future of TV, but since everyone thinks TV is dead, he will really be exploring the shifting tides of content and the future of media and entertainment.

    Of his keynote and content, Bollore said: “The market is at a turning point. On the one hand, some business models in the industry are being seriously disrupted and more will follow. But on the other hand, consumers have never been thirstier for content than today. It is a great time to be a storyteller."
  • Tumblr Site Says 'Phuck You' to Photography Reps

    If you're on the creative side of the ad agency business, you are quite familiar with the barrage of emails from photo reps that land in your inbox on a daily basis. In fact one agency claims its art directors receive over 100 emails each and every day from photo reps. And it was this little data point that sparked action.

    Enter Phuck You Photo Reps, a Tumblr site designed to shame photo reps out of art directors' inboxes once and for all. The site is a collection of emails from photo reps and everyone is encouraged to contribute the emails they have received. 

    The site is a collection of what you'd expect, fluffy puffy emails pontificating about the balance of light and the magic of some Joe Photographer. Check out the insanity and contribute your own. 
  • Lowe Lintas India Wins Warc 100 Agency Ranking

    The Warc 100, an annual list of the best agencies based on an analysis of winning campaigns across 87 different award events or competitions, has named Lowe Lintas India the number one agency on its 2015 list. The agency scored 213 points and was closely followed by AMV BBDO with 191 and Colenso BBDO with 148.

    Of the recognition, Lowe Lintas India CEO Joseph George said: "We have had a terrific run on creative effectiveness this year across the globe; and all the accolades have further reinforced our belief in the type of work we want to do and believe in."

    Chicago's Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, followed by PHD Mumbai. 360i New York was named top digital agency with R/GA New York taking second place.

    The Warc 100 is a ranking of top marketing campaigns and companies that the organization says is based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. The organization does not disclose the competitions that it uses to devise the ranking.

  • This Ad Contest Could Get You A Free Trip to Cannes. Just Don't Tell Your Boss

    Here's a semi-hilarious promotion for Canada's National Advertising Challenge that brings to light an all too prevalent problem in the ad industry -- an overzealous focus on awards. But the promotion promotes just that -- an overzealous focus on awards, and in this case, awards for non-client ads developed simply to win those awards.

    Yes, this is what you brands are paying for. Because you know the creatives in the agency you've hired are going to be doing this work in the office, conceivably on your dime. But, hey, when you dangle the chance to win a trip to Cannes as the prize for this contest, you're going to have creative salivating like dogs in heat.

    Of the Challenge, NAC Marketing and Communications Manager Ellie Metrick said: "We have big aspirations for the NAC, but we were facing a serious comprehension issue within the creative community. This year's online video goes a long way in explaining that we offer creatives an opportunity to do original work in exchange for a chance to go to Cannes."

    But because I know all you creatives are just jonesing for this, the briefs go live March 2 and the work must be completed by March 30.
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