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.
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.
In an audit of the 1,000 posts that BuzzFeed deleted from its site, three were deleted because advertisers complained. Yes, it's true. Don't like what someone writes about you? All you have to do
is bitch a little and get it removed.
In 2013, BuzzFeed published a post about an Axe body spray ad that was, it seems, not very positive. The brand's agency at the time didn't like what they read, complained and it was removed. Also is 2013, the publication chided Microsoft about its Internet Explorer browser. According to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith, the post was deleted because its author "had worked on a Microsoft ad campaign, and BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer complained about the post to me."
A third post, published in January 2014, which discussed what brands had planned on Twitter for the Super Bowl was pulled because it was critical of what Pepsi had planned and -- oops, the brand's Twitter account was handled by BuzzFeed staff at the time. Of that decision, Smith said: "We'd never previously considered the case of an editor that would be writing about an ad that was produced by our creative team, but we decided it was inappropriate and deleted the post." Really?
Remember when advertising and editorial where separate entities? Yeah, neither do I. We've all been pummeled so hard with native advertising bullshit over the past few years that it's practically become -- much like the banner before it -- invisible. Not to mention the over-the-top, incessant use of ridiculously sensationalistic clickbait headlines that achieved nothing but to quicken the tactic's invisibility.