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.
New York-based first-year MRY creative Sam Bartos has unveiled Ad Agency Bingo, a bingo game which
incorporates many of the activities, behaviors and plain old oddities he's witnessed during his first year at MRY.
Bingo squares include such activities as someone blatantly drinking before 2PM, somebody Tindering during a meeting, someone using the word "disruptive," somebody's dog pees in the office, someone says "advertorial," someone takes a selfie, someone you've slept with is in the same meeting as you and more.
In Sam's own words, here's how you sore the game:
“If you get a straight line, you can take it to your boss and ask that he promote you. Art Directors can become Senior Art Directors. Junior Copywriters will become Senior Junior Copywriters. etc.
If you get a diagonal line, you get to raid the office supply closet, Supermarket Sweep-style.
If your coworker gets a straight line, but you contributed by saying one of the things that helps them fill out one of the squares, you can scan their filled out sheet and put it in your portfolio as a project you worked on.
If you give the sheet to an intern to and they get a straight line, you can take credit for it as long as you write them a nice LinkedIn recommendation on their last day.
If you fill in a couple of the bubbles then get bored, fuck it, it’s 11:27. Lunch time.”
Oh, those damn new business prospects. Always asking for spec work for pitches. Will they ever learn? It's like asking a doctor to operate on your toe so he can prove he'll be successful operating
on your heart without even knowing the details of your health condition.
The HubSpot blog, Agency Post, asked 12 ad agency execs to spout off about spec work and what they think about the clients who request it.
Here's one of the better responses from Fuseideas' Dennis Franczak who said: "In written RFP responses, spec work is a waste of time. The reader may not have any context to what you are showing them. I also think when people ask it in an RFP they don’t understand how important developing creative is to us. It’s what we do. Asking us to just give it away means they already don’t respect you or what you do. To them, it’s like hiring somebody to provide them office supplies."
He continued: "For in-person presentations, it’s your chance to show them how you think or how you arrived at your creative approach. 95% of whatever gets done in a spec creative pitch is tossed out because you don’t have the background or the relationship with the client to know what they really need, but it shows how you think and it shows them you want their business."
What's your take on spec work?
Let's see. In the ever-growing list of overly self-important job titles, we've got Chief Development Officer (ie, sales director), Chief Creative Officer (ie, creative director), Chief Experience
Officer (ie, director of UX), Chief Digital Officer (ie, director of digital), Chief Content Officer (ie, editorial director), Chief Client Officer (ie, account director), Chief Native Officer (ie,
director of editorial spam), Chief Customer Officer (ie, director of customer service) and the list goes on.
There's also Chief Intelligence Officer, otherwise known as the director of research. But we can't shorten that title to CIO because a CIO is, and always has been, a Chief Information Officer. Or the guy you call when your computer breaks.
Smartly, IPG Mediabrands avoided this whole idiotic mess and called their new media research tech guy, Charles Godbold global director of media intelligence systems. All well and good -- but can we talk about Charles's last name for a minute? Isn't it the coolest? It just screams "I am the God of Awesome. I boldly go where no regular intelligence guy has gone before!"
Godbold is actually founder of Media Pilot Pty, a media consultancy and analytics firm. He will oversee the rollout of his firm's analytics software across all Mediabrands offices.
Title nonsense aside, IPG Mediabrands CEO Henry Tajer explained the hire, saying: “This is self-imposed discipline as opposed to client-appointed audits. Having the capability and the discipline in-house to redefine, remeasure and then reapply those insights is critical to how we’re going to be engaging with our client base moving forward. The ability for agencies to be responsive and operate in a real-time fashion with benchmarking is something the marketplace has largely been unable to do. Having it as part of our process and engineering it into how we operate means we’ll be doing it in real time. It’s accessible to the buying and client teams all the time as opposed to on a quarterly basis or a sporadic basis.”
In super important news today, 45-year-old Nick Swifte, who works at Dentsu Mitchell, says younger agency people don't drink enough. Swifte tells the Sydney Morning Herald: "If the beer and chips come
out at 4.30, by 5.30 all the kids under 30 are gone.” When we were starting out in our 20s if the office turned on booze you would literally sit around and drink until there was nothing left.
Now the younger staff might have one beer or not drink at all. They just don't seem to have the same alcohol focus as the era when I grew up."
Swifte, however, is a big fan of drinking himself, saying, "I like getting drunk. I'm a big fan of it. Working as a media buyer there is booze everywhere. Any function you go to, every achievement, every win, every loss, it's all celebrated with booze. There's as much of it as you want and it's all free."
While this may make Swifte just sound like a drunk old Mad Man, there does seem to be a trend, -- at least in Australia -- of younger generations simply eschewing alcohol more than older generations. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Drug Strategy Household Survey, between 2004 and 2013, the number of 12- to-17-year-olds who do not drink rose from 54 percent to 72 percent while heavy drinking among 18- to-24-year-olds has dropped from 24 percent to 18 percent.
And while there certainly may be a drop in the drinking levels of those under 30 working in ad agencies, maybe Swifte is witnessing a drop because young folks are sick of listening to old advertising war stories while drinking a beer in the agency kitchen.
Anyway, I thought you should know this very important piece of news.