Apple Continues Poaching Talent From Madison Avenue

Continuing its poaching of ad agency execs, Apple, which aims to build its in-house marketing department from 300 to as many as 600 staffers, has hired Wolff Olins Global CEO Karl Heiselman. Heiselman, who once worked for Apple in the early 1990s when Steve Jobs returned, has been with Wolff Olins for 14 years. Of his earlier time at Apple, Heiselman said: "It was a bit of a weird time, they were trying to find their way. The big lesson I learned was they were trying to be somebody they weren't and Jobs came back and said very clearly, 'we are going to go back to who we really are'." As Apple faces increased competition, most notably from Samsung, Heiselman will have big strides to make. But he's aware of the problem and believes the brand is sometimes "a little too cool for its own good. I think it might be in danger of becoming too cool, maybe not too cool, but too slick." Here's hoping he can save things.

Programmatic buying. You know, that practice where computers talk to computers to place ads on other computers all without human intervention? Okay -- we simplify, but it's drastically changed how things work in the agency space. Some agencies are partnering with technology providers. Others are just freaking out. Mediamath Chief Revenue Officer Erich Wasserman says no one needs to freak out and that advertisers, agencies are ad tech providers can peacefully coexist. He tells the Drum: "Unsurprisingly, this trend has caused some in the agency space to feel unsettled. Media scaremongering positions ad tech companies as attempting to disintermediate agencies, which -- from our perspective -- is absolutely not the case. To the contrary, some of the most successful relationships within our global business rely on the brand and agency relationship thriving -- leveraging insights, availing themselves of deep ecosystem integrations, and growing and optimizing spend based on the outputs of a strong platform." Okay -- maybe that's just more buzzword bingo, but we're all for a mutually beneficial threesome.

Jumping aboard the production agency trend, Omnicom Group has announced the merging of E-Graphics Worldwide and Hub Plus to form eg+ Worldwide, an entity that will "provide a client-focused network for production and tailored implementation solutions." The new company aims to help global brands "implement, amplify and localize" creative programs across multiple media channels. Of eg+ worldwide's launch, Omnicom President and CEO John Wren said: "With the launch of eg+, we are leveraging the very best technologies, talent and the extensive resources within Omnicom to help our clients meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse, complex, and global media landscape." eg+ worldwide will have 1,200 staffers who will be overseen by CEO Paul Hosea.

You've got to love how agencies explain away layoffs, fires and mass exits. Following the exit of several employees, here's what Tribal DDB had to say. “In the normal course of business, people are presented with opportunities to take on different, new, and challenging opportunities. As sad as we are to see some of our colleagues leave Tribal to pursue these new opportunities, we’re happy that other companies recognize their talent and the value of the experience they have gained at Tribal. We also wish them well and look forward to welcoming new colleagues in their stead.” Whatever happened to the simple "creative differences?"

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1 comment about "Apple Continues Poaching Talent From Madison Avenue".
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  1. David Vawter from Doe-Anderson, April 14, 2014 at 12:22 p.m.

    "Here's hoping he can save things."

    Good one, "Richard."

  • Havas Uses Airbnb to Recruit Interns With Rental Of Agency Loft And Couch

    The latest intern recruitment stunt has Havas Boondoggle Amsterdam offering interns a gig in exchange for a free stay in the agency's loft or, more specifically, the couch in the agency's loft. Rather than offering pay to the interns, the agency believes a one to seven night stay in Amsterdam, and all the excitement that goes along with that, is payment enough.

    Of recruiting interns through Airbnb, Havas Boondoggle Amsterdam ECD Menno Schipper told AdWeek, "Airbnb attracts the more adventurous kind of people. That's exactly the energy we're looking for in ad students."

    After contacting the agency through Airbnb, potential interns are asked to send in their portfolio for consideration. Once and intern is selected, there are a few rules which must be followed. Interns are asked not to drink all the beer in the fridge, not to feed the agency dog and, OMG, not to touch the other interns or employees.

  • Starcom Narrowly Avoids Wrath of FTC Over Disclosure Debacle In Xbox One Campaign

    An online influencer campaign for Starcom MediaVest Group client Xbox One managed by gamer lifestyle video entertainment network Machinima was found to have run afoul of FTC guidelines for disclosure. According to the FTC, Machinima paid two Xbox One endorsers a total of $45,000 for creating positive review YouTube videos and paid a larger group of influencers $1 for each 1,000 page views achieved but the company did not require the influencers to disclose they had been paid.

    A settlement reached Wednesday prohibits Machinima from engaging in similar campaigns and the firm is required to disclose paid endorsements in all future campaigns it manages. Of the ruling, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich said, "When people see a product touted online, they have a right to know whether they're looking at an authentic opinion or a paid marketing pitch."

    Positioning its deceptive actions as a favor to the industry, a Machinima statement read, "Machinima is actively and deeply committed to ensuring transparency with all of its social influencer campaigns. We hope and expect that the agreement we have reached today will set standards and best practices for the entire industry to follow to ensure the best consumer experience possible."

    Regarding the role of Starcom and Microsoft in the matter, an FTC press release read, "while Microsoft and Starcom both were responsible for the influencers’ failure to disclose their material connection to the companies, Commission staff considered the fact that these appeared to be isolated incidents that occurred in spite of, and not in the absence of, policies and procedures designed to prevent such lapses"

    An August 26th letter from the FTC to Microsoft and Starcom outline the findings of the Commission and indicate no enforcement action will be taken against either company.
  • Wieden+Kennedy Joins Oregon's Bike Commute Challenge

    This year, as it has done for many, Wieden+Kennedy is joining Oregon's Bike Commute Challenge month, an effort which encourages more people to commute to work on a bike. 

    In a blog post, the agency explains further, writing: "The Bicycle Transportation Alliance, a non-profit bike advocacy group based in Portland, puts on the Bike Commute Challenge every September, during which businesses compete to have the highest percentage of commutes by bike. W+K is always a front runner in the competition (we’ll catch you this year, Reed College!)."

    How many miles will the agency log this year? More than last, we hope -- but we're all just going to have to wait until the end of September to find out.

    Good luck, W+K!

  • Former Ad Exec Promises to Wear Your Agency T-Shirt In Prostate Cancer Fundraising Effort

    Anthony Kalamut, former ad guy and current professor at Toronto's Seneca College Creative Advertising, has posted a "pay it forward" challenge to ad agencies on his Facebook page. He has since posted to his blog for all to see. Kalamut has been undergoing some health issues and as part of his recovery, he began wearing various ad and non-ad-related t-shirts during his workouts and posting images.

    Many of the shirts he has worn have come from ad agencies such as Taxi and Strawberry Frog. He notes he learned from Strawberry Frog Founder Scott Goodson that it doesn't take much to start a movement and with that thought, he's launching an effort to raise money for prostate cancer research.

    In his post, Kalamut writes: "Send me your agency's t-shirt and I'll wear it in one of my workouts, take a photo, post it and donate $10 to Prostate Cancer Canada. So please help me pay it forward and support my effort."

    In addition to the agency outreach on Facebook, Kalamut has set up a donation campaign directly with Prostate Cancer Canada on which anyone can donate directly to the cause.
  • Ad Couple Who Quit Agency Jobs To Travel the World Now Cleaning Toilets to Make Ends Meet

    A while back you may have heard about the South African ad couple who quit their agency jobs and decided to travel the world and keep a journal of their adventure. As is usually the case with these "find yourself" journeys shared on social media, activities and adventures almost always fall into the "damn, I wish I were them" category. Except for Chanel Cartell and Steve Dirnberger -- and likely, most others who just aren't honest -- not every aspect of their travels has been epically spectacular.

    In fact, they now clean toilets to help pay for their travels. In a recent blog post, the couple shared the fact that traveling the world isn't always roses or peaches and cream or whatever metaphor you want to apply. No, sometimes the money runs out and you've just gotta do what you've gotta do to make ends meet. And that's exactly what Cartell and Dirnberger have had to do. 

    In a blog post entitled We Quit Our Jobs In Advertising To Scrub Toilets, the couple share the less than glamorous side of world travel. 

    The couple write: "After being gone exactly 6 months, I feel it necessary we share the uglier side of our trip. Browsing through our blog posts and Instagram feed, it seems like we’re having the time of our lives. And don’t get me wrong -- we are. It’s bloody amazing. But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished."

    And of the notion that we are often fooled by social media into thinking everyone's life but our own is spectacular, they add, "So don’t let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. Nuh uh. I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously)."

    And so when you think your life sucks because everyone on social media seems to have such a perfect life, remember, social media favors the more positive aspects of life.

     

  • Crispin Porter + Bogusky Thinks Two Managing Directors Are Better Than One

    Following its new decentralized managerial model, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has hired a second managing director for its Boulder office. Devin Reiter, who previously worked with the agency on the Microsoft account before leaving for a year-long stint at McCann Erickson New York, has returned and will work alongside the office's other managing director, Danielle Whalen.

    Of the doubling up of managing directors, CP+B Global CEO Lori Senecal said: "We have small, tight teams of hands-on doers who are in charge of creating the very best work. So when an office becomes too large for one MD to have meaningful personal impact on each and every client business, we need to expand our leadership to deliver this promise."

    The move follows -- and is line with -- the exodus of Andrew Keller, a 17-year veteran of the shop. Keller's position as executive creative director, and the oversight that position provided, was eliminated to make way for the new decentralized approach to management.

    One wonders how long before the tide turns and the agency realizes the deck hands have taken over the ship and they've got a disorganized mutiny on their hands.

  • Top National Ad Agency Announces Half Price Logo Sale!!

    Well it looks like "top national advertising agency" Eye To Ad Media is at it again. Back in March they announced a "limited time promotion" on SEO, SEM, infographics, animations, responsive Web sites, copywriting and PPC management. And even more magically, they announced the fact that they now offer domain name registration and Web hosting services. 

    Now the agency that loves to write gushing press releases about the mundane offerings it decides are worthy of news has done it again. This time they've announced...wait for it...a half-price sale on all premium logo designs. Yup, you read that right. The agency will create a premium logo -- not a regular logo, mind you -- for half price. Oh, and it's a limited time offer, so you had better hurry!

    The rest of the press release reads like design 101 with gems like "Most business owners understand the importance of maintaining a healthy bottom line and know having strong logos, icons or emblems can build brands that are memorable and easily recognized" and "There's so much more to a brand than a logo, and a logo can become so much more than a brand. It can become an icon and carry a meaning among consumers that is known as a company's image. A strong brand can become nationally known, or even internationally known."

    I mean who knew?
  • First-Year Creative Develops Hilarious Ad Agency Bingo Game Which Pokes Fun At Agency Life

    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.”

  • Aw, How Cute. Saatchi & Saatchi LA Donates Creative to Pet Shelter

    Oh sure, it's not really news that agencies take on pro bono accounts from time to time but this item involves cats and dogs and other pets. And on the internet, cats and dogs always win.

    Saatchi & Saatchi LA has donated creative services to the Amanda Foundation, an LA-based local pet rescue organization founded by Hollywood actress Teri Austin. The agency, along with area production companies which donated upwards of one half million in production costs, has given the Amanda Foundation a new...ahem...leash on life. 

    The agency completely rebranded the foundation, highlighting their core missions – from redesigning their logo and website, to giving their Spaymobile a new look and overhauling social platforms.

    You can check out the new website here and Spaymobile here.
  • 99designs Community Develops Completely Underwhelming Logo For Deez Nuts

    Deez Nuts, the 15-year-old Iowa farm boy, Brady Olson, who thought it'd be hilarious to enter the 2016 presidential race, has, hilariously, become a noted contender. Which, of course, isn't surprising at all in a land where Donald Trump could actually become president.

    Online graphic design marketplace 99designs thought they'd give Brady some help -- and garner a bit of publicity for themselves -- by enlisting the 99designs community to come up with a logo for the "candidate." The community did just that, but the winning entry is a bit of a letdown.

    You can take a look at the winning logo here. After you've done that, take a look at some of the other designs here and I'll think you'll agree there are quite a few better than the one bestowed top spot.
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