Mitch Joel Explains Why He Sold Twist Image to WPP

In a lengthy blog post, Mitch Joel explains why he and his partners decided their agency, Twist Image, should become part of the WPP family. On whether or not the acquisition is a good thing, Joel writes: "No. It's THE BEST thing. We are thrilled about this opportunity. We are excited about what the future holds. We are confident and excited that we will be able to better serve our existing clients. Plus, and this is selfish, I want to grow as well (and I know that my three other business partners feel the same way that I do). WPP employs over 175,000 employees in 3000 offices in 110 countries. They have deep strategic relationships with Facebook, Adobe, Twitter and more. They own agencies as diverse as AKQA, JWT, Mindshare and more. There are a ton of smart people who are a part of the WPP family. Access like that can't be understated." And of everyone asking him how much WPP paid, Joel writes: "Really? I'm actually shocked that people have asked me this question. You may be shocked to know that it gets asked often. How much money do you make? What's your salary? Maybe I come from a different generation, but these are not the types of questions I have ever asked anybody. It seems rude to ask (maybe it's just me)."

Havas posted a 3% rise in first-quarter organic revenue which they attribute to growth with client wins such as satellite TV company Dish and insurer Liberty Mutual. Revenue stood at $539.87 million with Europe, North America and Asia all contributing. Analysts had been expecting organic growth of 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent for the quarter, so things are looking up for Havas.

Airbnb is adding some muscle to its marketing team with the addition of Jonathan Mildenhall, who is leaving Coke to become the rental marketplace's chief marketing officer. Mildenhall brings deep experience to Airbnb, having worked on JetBlue, Old Navy and Hyatt, among others. Mildenhall will replace Amy Curtis-McIntyre, who is leaving Airbnb to travel and spend more time with her family. It seems Mildenhall exited Coke just in time, as the brand is undergoing a bit of a marketing shakeup with several top management shifts.

Brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide is acquiring Genuine Interactive -- a digital, mobile and social firm in Boston -- to, as the press release gushes, "give it unmatched capabilities to seamlessly connect clients with consumers." Yeesh. Anyway, of the deal, Jack Morton Chairman and CEO Josh McCall said: “We’re building the agency for now and fulfilling our clients’ need for experiences that reach people at every touchpoint. Adding digital, social and mobile to live brand experiences isn’t an option anymore; it’s required and expected. Although we’ve been on this path for quite a while, we need to continue to evolve and grow digital, social and mobile on a larger scale. Genuine Interactive is the perfect partner to help us expand this vision of a digitally enabled brand experience agency, and allows us to create a powerhouse of two incredibly talented and creative teams.” Okay.

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1 comment about "Mitch Joel Explains Why He Sold Twist Image to WPP".
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  1. Brandon Lewin from Cardinal Path, May 8, 2014 at 5:06 p.m.

    There is nothing wrong with Twist Image joining WPP. When a smaller firm joins a large firm there are a ton of perks. It will open the door to huge opportunities. I'm sure Joel worked it out that he and his partners will maintain control of the direction of the agency. That is the biggest concern in this type of merger. Will the vision and mission stay the same? Or will Corporate America take over?

    As far as how much they were paid for the acquisition...that's all people are worried about nowadays. Money, money, money. I agree with Joel's old school mentality. However, curiosity does kick in. It would be interesting to see how much a large corporation like WPP values an unique firm like Twist Image. The real reason Joel doesn't want to share the figure is because he is afraid of all his long lost family members coming out of the cracks to hit him up for a "loan." Welcome to the world of professional athletes and professional entertainers, Mitch Joel. You should feel honored.

  • 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.
  • 12 Agency Execs Profess Their Distaste For Spec Work

    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?

  • Super Cheesy Video With Getty Stock Footage Promotes Mind-Numbingly Simple Ad Creation Tool

    It's a thing. No doubt you've seen many of them over the years. I'm talking about automatic ad creation widgets that promise to automagically create ads simply by entering a few bits of information. Well, here's another one.

    This one's called, simply, Ad Creator. And, shockingly, that's exactly what it does. One starts by entering the "tonality" of the brand in question. Then one just enters the brand name, the URL and a logo and shazam, you have an ad. 

    Oddly, it appears that it just creates print ads which for an online ad creation tool, is, well, super dumb. 

    The tool, which is demo'd (yes, it's a fake product lest you are silly enough to have thought otherwise) in a YouTube video is described thusly: "Ad Creator is a fully powered advertising generator that can bring your company's sales up to speed instantly. Just add your product, name your price and start your own creative revolution. The Ad Creator will instantly create top-of-the-line advertising while you take another sip at that coffee of yours."
  • Study Finds Social Media Claiming Larger Share of Ad Budgets

    According to a recent second-quarter agency survey conducted by STRATA, social media advertising is garnering a larger share of advertising budgets. The survey found that 20% of agencies report they are likely to allocate between 11-25% of their ad budgets to paid social media, a 24% increase from the previous quarter. Another 24% of agencies are allocating 6-10% to paid social. Facebook continues to lead in agency advertising with 93% planning to use it in their campaigns, followed by YouTube (57%), Twitter (52%), and LinkedIn (29%).

    The rise in social media ad spend and newer advertising mediums has created a more complicated media planning picture for agencies. Media mix surpassed client attraction and comes in overwhelmingly as the biggest challenge facing 40% of agencies, marking an 85% increase from the same time last year. Following media mix was client attraction (24% of agencies) and client spending (11%). Similarly, 22% of agencies expect their clients to make minor budget cuts from last year.

    Of the findings, STRATA President Joy Baer said: "There's an undeniable correlation between the rise in social media advertising with mobile device behavior. Agencies and advertisers are going to follow their audience. Mobile users are checking Facebook and Twitter throughout the day. So when you consider that around 60% of digital media time spent in the US is on smartphones and tablets, then it makes perfect sense to reach the audience in the apps that they're already accessing."
  • This Agency Couldn't Call Its New Chief Intelligence Guy A CIO Because That Title Is Taken

    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.”

     

  • Australian Ad Exec Who Likes To Get Drunk Says Agency People Under 30 Don't Drink Enough

    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.

  • Horizon Media Dubbed One Of The Best Place To Work In Los Angeles

    Media services agency Horizon Media has landed itself  a spot on the Los Angeles Business Journal's 2015 Best Places to Work. The list is a citywide survey and recognition program that identifies and recognizes LA's 100 best employers. Horizon is ranked number 12 in the large company category.

    Of making the list, Horizon Media Founder and CEO Bill Koenigsberg said, "I'm thrilled that Horizon is being named to yet another Best Places to Work list. This marks our fourth Best Places to Work designation in four years, and it's a testament to the special culture that we have created."

    Horizon Media Western Region GM and EVP Serena Duff added, "I couldn't be prouder that the agency has landed in the 12th spot on Los Angeles Business Journal's '2015 Best Places to Work in Los Angeles' list. We make it a priority to expose our talent to experiences that allow them to grow, learn, and thrive both professionally and personally. Horizon Media truly is a special place to work, and our amazing culture continues to attract the best and brightest minds in the industry."

    The prestigious honor is one of many work environment-related awards that the agency has recently received. Horizon was winner of the Employee Engagement Awards Best Program (Large Company) category, landed at #29 on Crain's New York Business 2014 Best Places to Work in New York City list and the Crain's Best Places, Best Practices Challenge Award, which recognizes the most innovative idea that promotes recruitment, retention or rewarding employees. The agency has also been named one of the best places to work by Advertising Age

    High fives, Horizon!
  • Here's Why Kraft Foods Is Looking For A New Media Agency (And Why Switching Won't Make A Difference)

    Whispers and reports of a Kraft Foods Group media review have been increasing in the part few days. Recently, the combined Kraft Heinz said it has plans in place to lay off 2,500 people. The $514 million account is currently handled by Starcom which in the past year or so has lost some business including Anheuser Busch InBev.

    So why are things so bleak for Kraft? One word; organic. Yes, the organic trend is killing large food brands which are still pumping out a plethora of unhealthy food like Cheez Whiz, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, Velveeta, Kool-Aid and the list goes on.

    Granted, not every consumer has hopped on the organic bandwagon but increasingly people have come to the conclusion that the food they are eating today is not the same food they or their parents were eating 50 years ago. An endless list of hard-to-pronounce, mystery ingredients are now the norm on most packaging. Add to that the gluten-free trend and you have a recipe for disaster for old school food brands.

    And newsflash to those making this decision: choosing a new media agency will have no affect on the success of Kraft Foods no matter how much more awesome some new media agency is at beating the heads of potential consumers. Consumers want healthier foods. Screaming at them more efficiently about the benefits of Cheez Whiz simply is not going to make a difference for the brand. On the other hand, making food people actually want to eat, will, indeed, make a difference.

    All of which is to say, the ever-prevalent knee jerk reaction of switching agencies and media companies is rarely what turns a brand around. In most cases, it's because the brand just makes something better. Something that people actually want to buy. That's the only thing that's going to turn it around for Kraft Foods.
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