So what's up with ad agencies implementing CMO positions? What, Director of New Business sounds too boring? After all, what's a new biz director do? Whatever they can to position the agency
in a way that causes prospects to become inclined to do business with an agency. What's a CMO do? Heck if I know the difference, but it seems every agency wants a CMO these days. The most recent
agency to jump on this train is Organic, which just appointed Tracy Richards to the position. Richards has been with Organic for 13 years and has served as account director as well as new business
director. All of that said, maybe Organic and every other CMO-hiring agency is behind the eight ball. After all, Renegade Communications seems to be ahead of things with the hire of a Chief Return on Investment Officer.
So you know how every agency now seems to be morphing into a product development company? CP+B has done it. Deutsch LA has done it. Now PI&C New York is getting into the game with the launch of a socially conscious fashion line called Social Aesthetics as well as an online store for artisanal Italian food called Passione Italiana. It's all part of the agency aiming to position itself as a social entrepreneur.
We've always had a place in our hearts for Kansas City-based VML. Maybe it's the people we knew who worked and still work there. Maybe it's the awesomeness that comes out of a non-New York place like Kansas City. Either way, VML has just snagged the Cobra Puma Golf account. So congrats! Of choosing VML, Cobra Puma Golf President Bob Philion said: "VML is an innovative agency with extensive expertise in creating meaningful consumer experiences within the world of marketing, and we are excited to have them on board. Their understanding of the industry and ability to tell our Game Enjoyment story across multiple platforms will help us elevate our communications platform and reach an even greater global audience."
Everyone hates taxes, right? No one likes paying them and everyone likes spending all they can. Sadly, that may soon change for advertisers if a plan from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp makes its way into law. Camp's plan would cap expensing of advertising costs to 50% the first year with the rest amortized over 10 years. Included in that plan is an exemption for the first $1 million. That's great for small advertisers. Not so great for bigger ones. Of the proposal, 4A's lobbyist Dick O'Brien said: "This is a dreadful idea. What he's doing will make advertising more expensive." Well, yeah. Someone's got to pay the tax bill.
Ever since the advent of crowdsource-fueled creative entities like 99Designs, Freelancer and Fiver, design studios, which previously buttered their bread with business from ad agencies, are now
upping their game, cutting out the agency and going direct to the brand for business.
Of the trend, Design Business Council Head Greg Branson said, “A lot of the designers I work with have a strategy partner or a senior person in the business that does strategy. Many of them have been recruited by the designer out of the advertising industry, with the intention of taking their business to a higher level and offering a broader range of services."
While a design studio isn't going to take over the Coke account any time soon, shifts like this are on the rise. Interestingly, even before 99Designs and the like, Barbarian Group, which prior to Subservient Chicken, was a tech design studio of sorts, transformed itself into a full blown agency complete with all the usual agency services.
No, there won't be a weekly parade of design studios making it big like Barbarian did but market conditions have changed significantly enough that we will continue to see more of this.
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.