There is mounting belief that the merger between Publicis Group and Omnicom will never happen. The latest comes from analysts who have lost whatever warmth they may ever have had for the
deal. Pivotal Research Group Analyst Brian Wieser said: "There is evidently a realistic chance that the merger with Publicis will not be completed, whether due to external factors or management
preferences." And Albert Fried Analyst Rich Tullo places the odds of the deal coming to fruition at 40%, a drop from his original 66%. While challenges mount including a fight over who will become
CFO, the deal contains a $500 million termination fee that must be paid by the party that backs out first. So there's plenty of incentive still in place to make the deal work.
The phrase "stop trying to make Fetch happen" comes to mind when hearing about all the companies and marketers out there that can't wait to jump on the drone bandwagon with their offerings. Ever since Amazon dropped the ridiculous Amazon Prime Air on us, marketers and agencies have been in overdrive toying with their pet drone projects. But the FAA is having none of it. When Minneapolis agency Pocket Hercules pulled a stunt for its client Lakemaid beer, it received a warning from the FAA. Of the warning, CCO Jack Supple said: “They warn you and inform you of the regulations. The next level is a stiffer warning. Then they can fine you. Then they can actually blacklist you, or so I’ve heard. If you push it too far, you will not be licensed when it comes time to be licensed.” Pocket Hercules is just one of many agencies and marketers playing in the space. Supple adds, “Drones have already done quite a bit to the creative landscape with the photography being shot from them. That’s being done now, but they’re just being quiet about it because the photographers don’t want to be issued a $10,000 fine. The FAA is probably justified in trying to make sure that every Tom, Dick or Harry can’t be running commercial drones over the heads of the citizenry.” Yup. Still doing it. Just not talking about it.
Do you want your voice heard regarding the fact that just 3% of creative directors are women? Do you want to hear what those who are addressing the situation have to say? As an extension of the 3Percent Conference that was held last fall in San Francisco, the organization has launched a series of smaller, road show events. There's one this week in New York hosted by Ogilvy & Mather. Beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday (May 8) with cocktails, of course, a panel moderated by MediaPost Editor-at-Large Barbara Lippert will include 3Percent Conference Founder Kat Gordon, Deutsch NY CCO Kerry Keenan, Ogilvy & Mather NY ECD Corinna Falusi, BBDO NY CCO Greg Hahn and BBH NY CCO John Patroulis. Check it out here.
And here's a fun one. Ryan McLeod, Grant MacLennan and David Park from Glasgow, Scotland agency Equator are out with Critique That Shit, a site on which you can enter a URL and have a deadpan, Siri-like voice spit out canned Web site critiques like, "I 100% appreciate your design efforts" and "Like Jesus on the cross, you nailed it Boss." Check it out if you want a laugh but don't expect any true insight. Oh wait -- are the real-life critiques you receive ever insightful? Maybe these will be better.
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 Erikson New York, has returned and will work alongside the offices 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.
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.”
Oh, those damn new business prospects. Always asking for spec work for pitches. Will they ever learn? It's like asking a doctor to operate on your toe so he can prove he'll be successful operating
on your heart without even knowing the details of your health condition.
The HubSpot blog, Agency Post, asked 12 ad agency execs to spout off about spec work and what they think about the clients who request it.
Here's one of the better responses from Fuseideas' Dennis Franczak who said: "In written RFP responses, spec work is a waste of time. The reader may not have any context to what you are showing them. I also think when people ask it in an RFP they don’t understand how important developing creative is to us. It’s what we do. Asking us to just give it away means they already don’t respect you or what you do. To them, it’s like hiring somebody to provide them office supplies."
He continued: "For in-person presentations, it’s your chance to show them how you think or how you arrived at your creative approach. 95% of whatever gets done in a spec creative pitch is tossed out because you don’t have the background or the relationship with the client to know what they really need, but it shows how you think and it shows them you want their business."
What's your take on spec work?
Let's see. In the ever-growing list of overly self-important job titles, we've got Chief Development Officer (ie, sales director), Chief Creative Officer (ie, creative director), Chief Experience
Officer (ie, director of UX), Chief Digital Officer (ie, director of digital), Chief Content Officer (ie, editorial director), Chief Client Officer (ie, account director), Chief Native Officer (ie,
director of editorial spam), Chief Customer Officer (ie, director of customer service) and the list goes on.
There's also Chief Intelligence Officer, otherwise known as the director of research. But we can't shorten that title to CIO because a CIO is, and always has been, a Chief Information Officer. Or the guy you call when your computer breaks.
Smartly, IPG Mediabrands avoided this whole idiotic mess and called their new media research tech guy, Charles Godbold global director of media intelligence systems. All well and good -- but can we talk about Charles's last name for a minute? Isn't it the coolest? It just screams "I am the God of Awesome. I boldly go where no regular intelligence guy has gone before!"
Godbold is actually founder of Media Pilot Pty, a media consultancy and analytics firm. He will oversee the rollout of his firm's analytics software across all Mediabrands offices.
Title nonsense aside, IPG Mediabrands CEO Henry Tajer explained the hire, saying: “This is self-imposed discipline as opposed to client-appointed audits. Having the capability and the discipline in-house to redefine, remeasure and then reapply those insights is critical to how we’re going to be engaging with our client base moving forward. The ability for agencies to be responsive and operate in a real-time fashion with benchmarking is something the marketplace has largely been unable to do. Having it as part of our process and engineering it into how we operate means we’ll be doing it in real time. It’s accessible to the buying and client teams all the time as opposed to on a quarterly basis or a sporadic basis.”
In super important news today, 45-year-old Nick Swifte, who works at Dentsu Mitchell, says younger agency people don't drink enough. Swifte tells the Sydney Morning Herald: "If the beer and chips come
out at 4.30, by 5.30 all the kids under 30 are gone.” When we were starting out in our 20s if the office turned on booze you would literally sit around and drink until there was nothing left.
Now the younger staff might have one beer or not drink at all. They just don't seem to have the same alcohol focus as the era when I grew up."
Swifte, however, is a big fan of drinking himself, saying, "I like getting drunk. I'm a big fan of it. Working as a media buyer there is booze everywhere. Any function you go to, every achievement, every win, every loss, it's all celebrated with booze. There's as much of it as you want and it's all free."
While this may make Swifte just sound like a drunk old Mad Man, there does seem to be a trend, -- at least in Australia -- of younger generations simply eschewing alcohol more than older generations. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Drug Strategy Household Survey, between 2004 and 2013, the number of 12- to-17-year-olds who do not drink rose from 54 percent to 72 percent while heavy drinking among 18- to-24-year-olds has dropped from 24 percent to 18 percent.
And while there certainly may be a drop in the drinking levels of those under 30 working in ad agencies, maybe Swifte is witnessing a drop because young folks are sick of listening to old advertising war stories while drinking a beer in the agency kitchen.
Anyway, I thought you should know this very important piece of news.