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.
The Warc 100, an annual list of the best agencies based on an analysis of winning campaigns across 87 different award events or competitions, has named Lowe Lintas India the number one agency on its 2015 list. The agency scored 213 points and was closely followed by AMV BBDO with 191 and Colenso BBDO with 148.
Of the recognition, Lowe Lintas
India CEO Joseph George said: "We have had a terrific run on creative effectiveness this year across the globe; and all the accolades have further reinforced our belief in the type of work we want to
do and believe in."
Chicago's Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, followed by PHD Mumbai. 360i New York was named top digital agency with R/GA New York taking second place.
The Warc 100 is a ranking of top marketing campaigns and companies that the organization says is based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. The organization does not disclose the competitions that it uses to devise the ranking.
Clearly Havas Chicago hasn't been paying attention to recent research that found open office space to be decidedly less productive than that of the old school office. The agency recently completed
a $10 million renovation of its 81,000-square-foot River North office space transforming two floors of office space into a wide open, unproductive free-for-all.
And get this. The agency used to occupy three floors. Now it occupies two. They say that's because the new office design uses space more efficiently. Translated into English, that means stuffing the same amount of bodies into a smaller space to save money.
The new design has done away with all offices and added all the usual distracting crap you'd expect to see in an advertising agency: graffiti, a soda fountain and a bubble hockey table. They've even added bicycle racks and a "town hall" meeting area with bleachers. Oh, and they've given the new space a cute new name; Havas Village. Because yeah -- it takes a village to raise children and, well, that's pretty much what ad agency people are; spoiled little brats who prefer a playpen instead of an office in which to "work."
Okay, that's harsh, but I can say that because I've been there.Of the new space, Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella said: "The big part of this space, outside of how cool it is, is that it's really built for utility and built for a purpose. Creative, media, strategy and account all sit together, organized by account. What's different about us is we can make a decision on Monday and it will be implemented by Friday."
It's really kind of strange -- and, well, depressing -- that actual adults with actual jobs in actual ad agencies that are actual businesses that, you know, are run by actual adults actually need
advice like this, but apparently this is the case.
Penning a piece for The Chattanoogan (what the hell kind of name for a news outlet is that?), Connect Marketing Head Honcho Clint Powell has some advice that really shouldn't be the kind of advice that actual adults need. Kids, maybe, but actual adults? No. In any event, he wrote the piece and if you've worked in the ad business for any length of time, you know full well there are, unfortunately, plenty of people who need this advice.
His advice? Knowing when to say things clearly and in a way that doesn't waste other people's time nor make you end up looking like a fool. He offers up four things that are perfectly okay to say but for some reason, people are too scared to say them. They are "I am sorry," "I can not do that," "I don't know" and "Let's be clear." You can read his whole article for the details but, seriously, you really shouldn't have to.
Toronto-based agency john st. has made an interesting hire. Hoping to beef up their digital services, the agency has brought in "an accomplished entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience
building global digital media and consumer internet businesses from concept through to final acquisition."
So who did the agency hire? The guy's name is Tom St. John. Yeah. No kidding. john st. hired St. John. Like, when does that ever happen?
Of joining the agency, St. John says, “I feel that john st. has done some of the most innovative digital work in the country for some time now, but I believe that there is room for them to lead the broader digital discussion with clients. Analytics, social ROI, branded content, mobile advertising, online video -- these are just some of the challenges our clients are facing, and we can help them maximize those opportunities.”
Working with McCann London, the folks behind Cannes Lions have launched a new campaign that suggests agencies offer to send their worst employees to the festival of creativity this year...because
it's cheaper than firing them and paying severance.
The purpose, of course, is to make one last-ditch effort to inspire the -- shall we say -- less inspired by dropping them into the center of advertising creativity for one week. I guess if after a week in Cannes they still suck, well, then it's time to bid them adieu. Although you will have to pay them severance then, so the whole send-them-to-Cannes thing is, indeed, a gamble.
Headlines to the ads read: "Nisha, Strategist. Has dedicated seven loyal years to your agency. With very little to show for it" and Samuel, Producer. You fought hard to hire him. Responds to every suggestion with 'It can't be done.'" The ads are signed off with "Buy her/him a delegate pass. Cheaper than severance."
Of the approach, McCann London CCO Rob Doubal said: "Although our campaign is humorous, it makes a very sensible point. Why should being a Cannes Lions delegate be the preserve of the already excellent? If we really want a more creative world, as we all profess, we should also be encouraging the not-so-excellent performers to be inspired by Cannes Lions."
Funny stuff, this campaign. Trouble is, now everyone that is sent to Cannes by their agency is now going to have a gigantic inferiority complex along with nightmares about whether or not agency management thinks they’re up to snuff.
Oh, and the poor people who had to pose for the campaign -- branded losers for life!