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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  • Mad Men Opening Credit Bench Turned Into Actual Bench

    From now until the end of summer, those passing by the Time-Life building, home to Mad Men's fictional SC&P agency, will have the chance to sit on a bench crafted to look just like the bench in the opening credits of Mad Men.

    The 12-foot bench was designed by Pentagram and consists of just two pieces; a half-inch thick rolled steel plate seat and a 10-foot cast-concrete base. 

    So if you've got a hankering to sidle up to Don Draper (or whomever that silhouette turns out to be) then now's your chance.

  • That Agency That Just Launched A New Website Has Now Done Something Newsworthy

    The Brandon Agency which, ahem, just launched (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/246378/ooo-ooo-agency-launches-new-web-site-that-is-cl.html) a new website has just done something a bit more newsworthy. On Friday, March 20, the agency closed its Charleston office so that employees could take the day to volunteer for Operation Home, a non-profit that helps people remain in their homes by increasing home safety and accessibility.

    The agency’s staff spent the day in Hollywood, S.C., with Operation Home building a wheelchair ramp to enable an area resident to get in and out of their home safely. The result was a 29-foot wheelchair ramp to provide easy access for the homeowner.

    Of the effort, The Brandon Agency VP Media Director Shelby Greene said, “As a business organization, The Brandon Agency believes that we have a responsibility to serve others and give back in our surrounding communities. It’s wonderful to be a part of an agency that sees the importance of serving those in need and encourages us to take the time to do just that as a team. We believe Operation Home serves a valuable purpose and we are thrilled to jump on board with them.”

    Yes, that's much, much better that touting the launch of a new website.
  • This Ad Agency Now Makes Its Client's Hamburgers

    In the continuing shift away from the actual duties of, you know, creating advertising, 72andSunny has created a new spicy burger for Carl's Jr. The agency came up with the burger concept, named it and designed the packaging but they also developed the burger's ingredients. 

    Of the involvement, 72andSunny CCO Glenn Cole said, “We don’t look at our job as being an ad agency or marketing agency. We see our job as being an accelerator of business.”

    An accelerator of business. Well it's good to know that an agency now thinks creating advertising to help sell a product is now so boring that they'd rather create the product as well. Of course, there's nothing really wrong with that. After all, advertising people are creative. So why not help develop creative food. 
  • 11 Pieces of Career Advice From Mad Men's Peggy Olson

    In an LA Times Entertainment piece, you can find 11 pieces of career advice for women that are based on the Peggy Olson character from Mad Men. And we all know Peggy, who rose from obscurity to full on executive fame over the course of the series, has learned a lot and has much to share.

    Advice ranges from not relying on your femininity to get ahead to demanding appropriate work space to taking power when it comes your way to maintaining a professional relationship even when there is a lot of personal baggage to never fall in love with your married boss.

    Peggy's been through a lot. She's grown professionally and personally. And she's become wise with advice to share. We'll see her a few more times as Mad Men makes its final run this Spring.

  • Yannick Bollore Is Perfectly Happy Havas Isn't Huge

    In the advertising holding company world, which is run exclusively by men, and in the regular world which, some would argue, is still run by men, there is and always has been a fixation with size. And size in the sense that bigger is always better. That line of thinking runs rampant from the boardroom to the bedroom. 

    But not everyone thinks bigger is better and while "being huge" is good if you're in a porn flick, that's not always the case in business. Havas CEO Yannick Bollore has no desire to be the biggest holding company. In fact, he thinks Havas is perfectly sized. He says, "Havas has the ideal scale. We are the fittest group in the industry today and our size is the key to our current success." 

    And on his competitor's fixation with swelling to ever larger girth, Bollore adds, "It'll just make us slower. I do not want to be the biggest. This obsession is nonsense, and for what?" 

    What's that saying? "It's not the size that matter. It's how you use it."

    So take that Sorrell and Levy. Bigger is not always better. Especially when you're trying to hook up with...um...a smaller brand.
  • Mad Men's Jon Hamm Just Completed 30 Days of Alcohol Rehab

    Well -- this is sad, but it has a happy ending. Mad Men star Jon Hamm recently completed 30-day stint at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut for alcohol addiction. One could joke about that mirroring his Mad Men character, Don Draper, but I'll leave that one alone.

    In a statement made by Hamm's publicist, Annett Wolf, Hamm has strong support from his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Westfeldt. Hamm checked into Silver Hill at the end of February.

    Hamm will make his final appearances as Don Draper as the remaining episodes of the last season of Mad Men kick off April 5.
  • Like A Car Dealer Screaming 'Come On Down!' This Agency Has Announced 'Limited Time Discounts'

    If there were anything an ad agency could do to further remove itself from trusted business partner and thrust itself ever deeper into insignificant vendor hell, it would be to actually put out a press release touting the fact that it's offering "a limited time promotion on all media packages."

    The release adds: "SEO SEM, infographics, animations, responsive websites, copywriting and PPC management are also included in this sales event."

    And in a supremely dumbed-down explanation of marketing that treats its audience like uninformed children, the release continues: "Advertising can be incredibly complex. Fortunately agency’s consultants can help streamline and simplify marketing efforts. A single campaign has many components, all of which must work together successfully for the plan to succeed."

    So if you need to be schooled on advertising or need "up to a 10% discount" on your next campaign, give a shout out to Eye to Ad Media  (http://www.eyetoad.com/) whose URL, oddly, spells "eye toad" -- bringing up an entirely different image than that of a professional ad agency.
  • AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Says Agencies Are All Talk And Little Action

    Speaking at the AAAA's Transformation Conference in Austin, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong isn't 100 percent happy with agencies delivering on all their hype about new methods of advertising. He gives them an A- for the talk and a Bi for execution. This, really, should be no surprise to anyone. At all. Agencies are masters in pontificating about the latest shiny new object, but when it comes to doing actual work -- well, not so much.

    In another observation of the obvious, Armstrong thinks agencies do a poor job marketing themselves, saying: "From a talent perspective, from a client perspective, from a media perspective, the ongoing discussion about ad agencies and what comes up in those marketplaces in general...very little of it talks about the value proposition. There's a lot of value getting driven here that will get you better talent, get you better clients."

    But despite his misgivings on agency value proposition, Armstrong still thinks marketers need agencies. He added: "The biggest misnomer that people seem to have in the agency business is this whole notion of whether or not you need an agency. The clients don't have the headcount to operationalize a lot of the stuff we just talked about in general. They'll hire their people, they'll get there, but right now they don't."

    Good news for agencies, perhaps.
  • Ooo! Ooo! Agency Launches New Web Site That Is 'Closely Aligned With Company's Vision' !!

    BREAKING! The Brandon Agency, an ad agency based in Myrtle Beach that provides "award-winning marketing communications programs and campaigns proven to drive client success has...wait for it...launched a new Web site (http://www.thebrandonagency.com/)! It's completely redesigned! And they are really proud of it. So let's all be proud right along with them.

    Of the new site and the agency's focus, The Brandon Agency CEO Scott Brandon gushed: “Here at The Brandon Agency, big thinking is king. Our new site showcases how we specialize in developing and executing ideas that are good for our clients’ business; big ideas that will produce growth for them, while at the same time providing accountability and measurement.”

    The whole new site/non-news element aside, the site does look quite good. It's clean, straightforward and uncluttered. None of that "we are so f*cking creative, we don't care if our site gives you a seizure of makes you feel like an incompetent idiot" nonsense. Nope, just clear and concise information.

    But wait, there's more! Brandon adds: “This is the first phase or our site redesign. We will be launching Phase 2 later in the year which includes a more in-depth look into our agency’s people and capabilities.”
  • Maurice Levy to Get Hip With David Guetta During Cannes Lions

    At this year's Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy will take the stage with David Guetta, world-renowned French DJ Producer, for the Groupe's seminar which will explore innovation, creativity and the "zeitgeist of our industry today."

    The seminar is called "Making the Brand: Authenticity and Influence through Celebrity Endorsements" and will take place in the Grand Auditorium on Thursday, June 25 at 4:00 p.m. CET, at the Palais des Festivals.

    Guetta, as you may know, is a musician and marketer who has done his share of celebrity endorsements. From partnerships with brands like MUMM, Renault and most recently, TAG Heuer, to co-designing a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre, and co-founding a specialized agency for celebrity marketing, My Love Affair, Guetta also just released a new album titled "Listen" with international artists including Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Sia, and others.

    Together with Levy, the two will discuss how celebrity endorsements have evolved from a simple play for buzz to a transformational creative role in marketing, advertising, and branding. Guetta will also give the audience an inside look at just how pivotal social media is in building relationships between artists and their audiences.

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