Gurbaksh Chahal, founder of real-time ad network RadiumOne, was fired by his board of directors following a lawsuit which charged him of 47 felonies surrounding an argument he had with his
girlfriend last year. While some reports, based on a video, claim Chahal hit the woman 117 times, Chahal denies the accusations and has written a lengthy public letter in which he tells his side of
the story. In the letter, he writes, "The situation that resulted in my legal case began when I discovered that my girlfriend was having
unprotected sex for money with other people. (She testified to this in her interviews with the cops.) I make no excuse for losing my temper. When I discovered this fact and confronted my girlfriend,
we had a normal argument. She called 911 after I told her I was going to contact her father regarding her activities. And yes, I lost my temper. I understand, accept full responsibility and sincerely
apologize from the bottom of my heart for that. But I didn’t hit her 117 times, injure her, or cause any trauma as the UCSF medical reports clearly document. This was all overblown drama because
it generates huge volumes of page views for the media given what I have accomplished in the valley." Note that technically he never denies he hit her. Just how many times.
Despite naysayers, doomsday scenarios and predictions of the demise of ad agencies, employment levels are at their highest in the industry since 2001. Of course, 2001 was not a great time for the ad community having just experienced the dot com disaster but it's still a positive sign. That, combined with the finding that agency revenue has increased 3.7% to 39.1 billion in 2013 is a good sign as well. And digital now accounts for 35% of all U.S. agency revenue. That's a sea-change event considering most online and interactive efforts coming out of agencies just 15 or so years ago were considered hobbies.
As you may have heard, Burger King has brought back Subservient Chicken for its tenth anniversary. And as part of that return, Burger King has named WPP's David its lead global agency ending a three year period during which no agency oversaw the brand's global efforts. David will join the brand's U.S. agencies Pitch, Code & Theory and Horizon Media. Previously, domestic duties were handled by Mother.
Following Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comment that his ex-mistress shouldn't be "associating with black people" when he saw her in a picture with Magic Johnson, Translation Founder Steve Stoute has encouraged his clients to boycott the Clippers. So far, Translation client State Farm has pulled out. Other brands that have pulled their sponsorships include Red Bull, Kia, Virgin America and CarMax.
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 that 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.
The AICP has announced the AICP Show & AICP Next Awards Shortlists. Winners will be revealed during AICP Week in June. Shortlisted pieces and credits may be viewed on the AICP Web site. Chairing the 2015 AICP Show is Kerstin Emhoff, president/co-founder of PRETTYBIRD. Judging Chair is Rob Reilly, global creative chairman
of McCann Worldgroup.
On the AICP Show Shortlist, the top five production companies mentioned are: Biscuit Filmworks, with 21; Smuggler and O Positive, with 16; Park Pictures, with 13; and MJZ, with 12 mentions. For agencies, the top five mentions included work from various offices of: Wieden+Kennedy, with 25; BBDO with 17; R/GA and TBWA\Chiat\Day, with 12 apiece; and SS+K, with 11. On the client side, HBO GO led with 11 mentions, followed by Beats By Dre with nine; General Electric with eight; Nike with seven; and Adidas, Mars Chocolate North America, and Weight Watchers, each with six mentions.
For the AICP Next Awards shortlist, on the production company side, Tool appeared seven times; R/GA five times; Chelsea Pictures, The Kitchen, and Smuggler each appeared three times. For agencies, the top five mentions included work from the various offices of: Wieden+Kennedy, with 11 appearances; BBDO with 10; Leo Burnett, with six; R/GA and Young & Rubicam, each with five. For clients, the top five includes mentions of: Land Rover, with five; Heineken, with four; and Volvo North America, Jordan Brand and Google, with three each.
Kevin Foreman, whose creative career spans 25 years at shops such as Backer Spielvogel Bates/NY, The Richards Group, Publicis, Tribal DDB, Rapp Worldwide and SHOP.COM, will join Moroch Partners as the agency's Digital Creative Director. Which, when you think about it is pretty awesome because Foreman has to be at least 47 so props to
the agency for going against the grain and entrusting an "old guy" with your digital creative.
Of selecting Foreman for the position, Moroch Partners ECD Kevin Sutton said, “Having Kevin on board will ensure the agency remains ahead of industry shifts and will continue to develop the most significant campaigns we can across multiple consumer-centric platforms. With consumers’ increasing demand for real-time information and brand engagement, digital has become one of the most critical components of our clients’ marketing strategies.”
Foreman seems pretty happy with the new gig saying, “Moroch was built on the belief that true 360 integration is the key to driving shifts in consumer preferences and behaviors to deliver more immediate, sustainable and significant client results. The leap was intuitive as I share the same belief and passion. I’m excited to dive in and get started.”
The Big Ten Network has announced it officially named Fallon its agency of record following the agency’s development of a fall national campaign focusing on BTN’s college sports focus
and ever-expanding reach.
Of Fallon's work and selecting the agency as AOR, BTN VP of Marketing Erin Harvego said, “The fall college sports campaign was a huge success for the Big Ten Network. We look forward to continuing the momentum with dynamic, original creative that showcases what the Big Ten and college sports are all about. What we enjoy most about working with Fallon is the agency’s ability to present original ideas, and I think they’ve found fun and exciting ways to share our vision with our viewers.”
Of hooking up with BTN, Fallon Creative Director Josh Combs said, “We like to work with ambitious brands and BTN is among the most motivated with which we’ve worked. The network is determined to become the best network in college sports and our job at Fallon is to help it turn those dreams into a reality.”