New York's Korey Kay Has Closed Its Doors

Storied New York ad shop Korey Kay & Partners is closing, according to sources. The agency was founded more than 30 years ago by Lois Korey and Allen Kay, after both tired of toiling at big ad shops like McCann Erickson and Needham Harper & Steers. Over the years the company had clients including Honda, Wynn Resorts and the Metropolitan Transit Authority, among many others. The agency was known for its iconic catch phrase “If You See Something, Say Something,” which it created after 9-11 for the MTA, a 22-year client, which left earlier this year. Famous alumni include both Jon Bond and Richard Kirshenbaum, who went on to form Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners. Korey, who began her career in TV writing for stars like Ernie Kovacs and George Gobel, died in 1990. Kay could not be reached for comment on the closing. 

Peter Sherman has joined Omnicom as executive vice president. In his new role, Sherman will report directly to John Wren on a series of initiatives that include driving innovation and collaboration across the holding company's client portfolio. Sherman is joining Omnicom from JWT, where he served as CEO, North America. In that role he was responsible for driving the overall strategic direction and creative reputation of the region, while managing client relationships. Sherman joined JWT in June 2013 as CEO of its New York office and was promoted to CEO, North America, in December 2013. During his time at JWT, the agency had several key client wins. Prior to joining JWT, Sherman was EVP, managing director of BBDO Europe, where he led 35 BBDO offices in 18 countries across the European region. While he was in Europe, those offices experienced consistent year-on-year growth, won multiple pan-European pitches, and BBDO was named the most creative network in Europe for the first time.

So Advertising Week Europe is happening this week. Two big topics emerging from the conclave of adverati are programmatic buying and branded content. While some believe each is on its own course, Advertising Week Europe Co-Producer Kathleen Saxton thinks differently. “Once the content has been crafted, you need to look at what all the different iterations will be, and how to get them to fit together across the different media. This is where real-time bidding will come in. We’re sort of in beta phase at the moment, but it’s something the industry will get better at over time," says Saxton. Programmatic content marketing? Now if only we can get computers to create content for us. Oh, wait. 

Sadly, Arnold Worldwide has had to let go about 20 staffers across the agency's Boston and New York offices. Reasons given for the layoffs are at best nebulous, citing the need to re-engineer, adjust the talent mix and focus more on content creation. Okay -- that last part actually makes sense. But it's still troubling. Over the past couple of months, tips of layoffs have trickled in from various agencies. Just a blip or are we headed for another recession? Ad agencies are always a leading indicator of a recession.

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  • Digitas Health Turns Mundane Holiday Card Into Charity Extravaganza

    Oh the agency holiday card. Yawn. Oh wait, not yawn! Some agencies actually put some thought into the mundane annual event. One such agency is Digitas Health LifeBrands which has come up with something a little more meaningful. The agency has launched HUG, a social media campaign which aims to generate awareness of charities and provide a monetary donation from the agency to charities which are nominated by employees.

    In its fifth year, the program involves employees from the New York, Philadelphia, London, and San Francisco offices who have nominated 24 charities to compete to win money. Each week visitors to the Group HUG Facebook page will vote for their favorite charity  by “liking” and “sharing” the logos from the charities. At the end of the campaign, which runs through the end of December, there will be four winning charities.

    Check out the Group HUG video trailer here and be sure to visit the Group HUG Facebook page to vote for your favorite charity. After all, what better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a nice big Group HUG?
  • Ogilvy Pitches Christmas to Focus Group Which Interprets Santa As Pedophilic Rapist

    What if you had to pitch Christmas to a focus group? As we all know, focus groups are a disastrous means of coming to consensus on anything. And that's pretty much what happens in this video created by Ogilvy & Mather Paris.

    After explaining some of the elements of Christmas such as a fat old man with a big beard, a little girl asks, "Why do I have to sit on his lap?" Just let that one sink in for a minute. Ick. Another woman offers up, "You know who else sneaks into your house through the chimney? Rapists." Ouch! This isn't going well.

    The confusion continues with focus group members wondering why Christmas is proposed to be in December instead of the much warmer August. And why the fat guy gets all the credit when he doesn't even buy all the gifts. One panelist even claimed proposed Christmas carols make him feel horny. No, not going well at all. And let's not even get into New Year's Eve.

  • Dick Rich, Co-Founder of Wells Rich Green Dead At 84

    Copywriting legend Dick Rich passed away from a heart attack on November 1. He was 84. His daughter, Karen Rich, made his death known last week. Rich, along with Mary Wells and Rich Greene, was one of the founders of the storied Wells Rich Green ad agency and creator of classic 60's work for Alka-Seltzer and Benson & Hedges. 

    He was known for his confident approach to his work telling The New York Times in 1983: “Clients don’t come to me for O.K. advertising. They come to me for great, great advertising.”

    A real man’s man who will be missed.

  • Starcom Just Screamed 'Oh Sh*t!'

    Looking to consolidate its global media planning business with one agency, Mars has handed its $1,7 billion account to MediaCom after a review. In a review that included WPP, MediaCom ousted incumbent Starcom, which was one of 8 agencies handling a (substantial) slice of that $1.7 billion. 

    Of the account shift, a Mars statement read: "With the constant change in the media landscape, this model will allow us to better collaborate across our global business to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and coordination in our media planning. This change brings our planning model in line with our existing global creative agency structure, and will allow us to further focus media as a growth driver."

    The account has been with Starcom since 2010. Just a couple of months ago, Starcom lost the planning portion of the $575 million Anheuser-Busch InBev. It's a sad week for sure for the media-buying shop.
  • This Agency's Sizzle Reel Takes Food Porn to New Heights

    The Sizzle Reel. We've all got one, right? That two minute thrill ride highlighting your best work designed to make it undeniably clear your shop is the only shop worth considering when pitching a client. It's usually filled with bombastic statements no one outside marketing can understand backed by music only 22-year-old ravers might enjoy and edited in a way that would give a corpse an epileptic seizure. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

    But...not all sizzle reels are created equal. No siree. Taking food porn to an entirely new level, Brooklyn-based Brickhouse Projects is out with the aptly titled Our Sizzle Reel. Oh and what a sizzler it is! 

    For two full minutes you will be regaled with Barry White-like intonations as if the situation where the juiciest foreplay the biggest grill-themed food orgasm you may ever have had. Or will ever have. Ribeye. Bacon. Stir Fry. Parmesan-encrusted Tilapia. Tender, juicy teriyaki kabobs. A gas station burrito. Lots of Ferris Bueller closing credit "Oh yeahs." A cute dog. And a house fire. Wait, what? Oops.
  • This Agency's 'Post Holiday Party Apology Maker' Will Help You Save Face After Your Epic Party Fail

    So you've probably been to or are planning to go to a spate of holiday parties this month. Some of you will enjoy. Some of you will hate. And others, still, you will wish you never went and made a fool of yourself in front of your boss, co-workers, friends or, yes, the stranger you woke up next to the next morning.

    But Cleveland-based agency Brokaw has you covered. It has created the very ingenious Post Holiday Party Apology Maker. It's the internet's answer to the walk of shame. And all you have to do is click.

    When you visit the site, you choose who you want to address your letter to. You are then presented with the phrase, "I'm sorry I..." which is followed by a list of transgressions you wished to have avoided. You can string together as many apologies as you like. Your hand is held the entire time and your letter is auto-magically created Mad Libs-style. 

    You can then share your apology directly via email or more broadly (because, hell, you just might have no idea just how many people you offended) to Facebook and Twitter. Now isn't that a thoughtful and helpful tool we can all use right around this time of year? Yeah, it is. Give it a try. You know you need to.
  • Cossette Seals Deal With BlueFocus Communications

    Last month, we reported Canadian Agency, Cossette, was in talks with Chinese agency, BlueFocus Communications Group, to be acquired. That deal has been sealed for $210 million. 

    The sale involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Cossette's parent company, Quebec City-based Vision7 International, whose assets also include PR firm Citizen Relations. Of the acquisition, BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao said, “Having Vision7 join the BlueFocus family will help us gain better access to the North American market and emphasizes our ‘To Be Global’ strategy."

    In its apparent quest for global domination BlueFocus last year acquired London-based social agency We Are Social as well as a 20 percent stake in PR firm Huntsworth.

  • UK Agency Creates Designer Holiday Cards And Gift 'Rap'

    U.K agency Joint London understands that Christmas is all about giving. And this year they’ve decided to give in two rather special ways. And the agency created two Web sites to help them put that notion in motion.

    One site, Designer Santa, lets you download a set of fashion-themed Christmas cards. In creating the site, the agency imagined what would happen if, in an attempt to help them reboot their look, the top fashion designers of our time tailored their current collections to fit the "strong bones" of Father Christmas. There are some pretty cool-looking cards you can download once you pay with a Tweet.

    The second site, appropriately called Gift Rap, gives people the opportunity to win one of several gifts from a fluffy penguin to an iPhone 6. The agency invited 17-year-old LA-based rapper A-F-R-O to their offices to create some "off-the-head freestyle based on a selection of gifts that we gave him totally at random.” Check all that out here.
  • Charitable Toy Drive Leverages Ad Agency Staffers' Lazy Selfishness

    Ok so this charity effort from 360i is both generously charitable as well as indicative of rampant, agency-wide, obsessive selfishness. And what sort of charitable effort could result in such a dichotomy? Well, one that aims to give toys to children in need -- and at the same time, highlights the quirky behavior of agency types.

    In the effort's video, children are seen admiring -- with understandable wonderment -- the toy collections of obsessive agency types who pride themselves on their toy-themed cubicle shelf junk. And in a nod to the lazy selfishness that resides inside agency walls, the video says: "Now you can give without giving anything at all." 

    360i is inviting the industry to join their socially fueled #AgencyToyDrive that challenges the industry to give as many toys as possible to the deserving children at Harlem’s Children Zone, Year Up and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. And all you selfish, self-important ad types have to do is take a picture of your ridiculous toy collection in and around your cubicle.

    Participation is simple. Beginning December 15, anyone can share their toys and tokens via Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #AgencyToyDrive, and 360i will transform these submissions into real-life toy donations. The agency will create a collective digital toy bin at AgencyToyDrive.com and the agency will donate a matching toy to charity. Agency elves will update the site to confirm when donations have been fulfilled. So get with it, lazy. Start snapping shots of your shelf ornaments.
  • Naked Santa Poses For San Francisco Creatives In Effort to Raise Money For Charity

    Last Wednesday, at an event that would either bring you a great degree of merriment, hilarity or disgust depending upon your proclivities for naked, chubby middle-aged men, San Francisco-based Heat hosted Sketchy Claus. And yes -- the event was indeed quite sketchy.

    At what the agency defined as a "cultured holiday evening with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and attendees portrait drawing the real Santa," a roly-poly Santa Claus stripped off his red jacket and pants and struck a decidedly @MaleCopywriter-ish pose. Santa even struck Kim Kardashian's now ubiquitous "break the internet" pose.

    The agency developed Sketchy Claus as an alternative way to approach the holidays with a decidedly tongue-in-cheek exploration in art and creativity. Creative directors and artists from around the SF ad community participated in the event, with more than 50 portraits of a naked Santa in varying poses drawn during the evening. 

    Proceeds from ticket sales for the evening reached $2,000 for the charity One Warm Coat which, I am told, translates to 4,000 coats for recipients. Heat will auction the portraits on eBay in an effort to up the $2,000 take to $5,000.
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