Barbarian Group: Awesome Long Desk; Fewer Employees To Sit Around It

Well, this is a bummer. To make room for that 1,000-foot desk it recently installed, it looks like The Barbarian Group has had to lay off a few employees. Hey, never let a few able-bodied advertising professionals get in the way of awesome office design, right? As much as we'd love to paint The Barbarian Group as a soulless agency that could care less about its employees, that's simply not the case. The agency, it seems, let go four people who worked on a piece of the Samsung business that was transferred to the agency's parent, Cheil.

Everyone knows breaking into the ad agency business is not easy. But those who persevere find success. One such individual is Tom Pascoe Williams, who purchased promoted tweets on Twitter to land a job. Specifically, he targeted the promoted tweet to the follower of 40 agencies in London where he resides as well as the followers of Ad Age, Creative Review and Cannes Lions. Of his efforts, he told The Drum, “I desperately needed to build my contacts -- and I recognized that all the people I wanted to have these conversations with were right there in front of me, I just needed a little push. It's all about standing out at this stage, I've sent hundreds of emails, called many, many agencies and none of them have gotten back to me, so I thought I'd play them at their own game!” Did it work? Yes. He's had many interviews and is in negotiations right now with one particular agency.

Speaking of breaking into the advertising business, it's not just job seekers doing great things to land a job in the business. Agencies are doing their part as well. Mullen Pittsburgh has launched Ad U, a 10-week course to teach middle school and high school-age students the ins and outs of advertising. The program was launched February 11 and is being taught at the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies. Of the program, Mullen Pittsburgh President Brian Bronaugh said: "I've been in this business for nearly 25 years and in spite of the seismic changes that have occurred in how we conduct our business, what has shamefully changed little is who is conducting it. It continues to be a primarily male and primarily white workforce. Ad U is a step towards developing a seed program that will introduce the opportunities available and the types of skill sets that are required to the generation of children in the middle and high school levels."

So what does Omnicom do in the midst of its mega merger with Publicis Groupe? It goes out and buys more agencies, of course. And it's getting busy buying up Indian agencies. After acquiring Mudra in 2011, Omnicom is moving ahead with the acquisition of Bangalore-based digital agency 22feet, which was founded in 2009 by Brijesh Jacob, Deepak Nair and Vinod Moolacherry. Omnicom plans to merge 22feet with its Tribal DDB unit, which itself is part of Mudra.

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  • OK So It's Not Called Spiffly But Alex Bogusky Did Launch A 'Social Impact Agency Platform'

    Last week I made note of Alex Bogusky launching a start-up that that would focus on doing social good and that it would be called Spiffly. The first part was right. The second part was wrong. The new entity will be called Fearless and "will help socially-minded corporations, foundations and non-profits develop 360° campaigns while providing the added value of a built-in millennial audience through Fusion's television, social and digital platforms."

    Fearless will be a division of Disney/ABC/Univision's cable network and digital platform Fusion and run in partnership with Bogusky, former CP+B'ers Dagny Scott and Lelsie Freeman. Fearless will "enable clients to engage with an ultra-connected audience in all of the places they consume media. The agency will develop multi-platform content spanning video, art, text, comedy, documentaries, television, events, and sharable content, all with an eye toward raising awareness and moving millennials to action on key issues and ideas that encourage positive change in the world."

    Of the launch, Bogusky said, "Mashing up agency and media solves a huge problem for socially-minded clients who have incredibly compelling messages but no way to find their audience. Fusion is striking the right tone. Although millennials are more interested in doing good, they aren’t motivated by the same old dry boring, righteous approach. They have the attitude that changing the world can and needs to be fun. And I happen to agree with that.” 

    Fusion will be opening an office in Boulder, Colorado where Fearless will be based.

  • This 'Dematerialized Agency' Needs Scotty to Beam It Back to Earth

    You know, if an advance alien race arrives on earth and learned all the languages in the world, they'd still never be able to understand what the hell marketing and advertising people are talking about.

    Get a load of this winning piece of blatherific business babble: "DOZ, the leading curated marketing marketplace that successfully connects brands with top-notch marketing professionals is taking over the industry with a growing platform. The company announces they now have 5K international marketers on its virtual platform. DOZ is the new dematerialized agency propelling brands into the next era of marketing."

    Dematerialized agency? What. The Actual. F*ck? Sidenote: I had to right that exact phrase yesterday when Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin "head in the clouds" Roberts said marketing is all about table licking. Perhaps one of my editors encapsulated DOZ's desire to be a dematerialized agency better by saying, "It was bad enough getting disintermediated, now Madison Avenue isn't even living in a material world." Cue Madonna. 

    And Scotty, if you see this agency's dematerialized particles floating about the universe in your afterlife, please give them a swift kick in the ass and beam them back to reality.
  • 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. 
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