What do we think of the failed Publicis Omnicom "merger of equals?" From the moment it was dubbed "merger of equals" it was doomed to fail. Why? Have you noticed the personality profile of
most ad agency heads? Type A/" don't F&*k with me"/control freaks who would drive over their grandmother if it meant scoring a new client or making a few extra bucks. Okay -- perhaps that's a bit
too harsh but did anyone really think Maurice Levy or John Wren (or any of their top dogs) would accept second fiddle position in this deal? It'd be one thing if one holding company were buying the
other outright but since they just wanted to hook up like a Tinder date, all two type A personalities could hope to expect from that would be a good roll in the hay and a kiss on the cheek in the
morning. Levy and Wren are two alpha dogs from two different cultures and neither one was ever going to rein in their testosterone long enough to tackle the intricate details necessary to make any
kind of "merger of equals" come to fruition.
Well it's final. The FTC, after a period of public comment, has put their final stamp on the settlement involving Nissan North America and TBWA Worldwide. As you may recall, the agency created an ad which deceptively showed a Nissan Frontier effortlessly pushing a dune buggy up a hill when, in fact, the vehicle was being pulled up the incline by an unseen cable. The settlement basically amounts to a "don't do it again" slap on the wrist.
At this year's Interactive Day San Diego, digital and creative agency Piston will show how narcissism can make the world a better place with the "Selfie Jar" -- a jar in which this year's 1,400 IDSD attendees can put their selfies to good use. Attendees simply have to add the hashtag #selfiejar to their posts and for every selfie posted, Piston will make a $1 donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. At IDSD, Piston employees will wear special t-shirts that they also will hand out to attendees. The shirts will feature the #selfiejar hashtag along with the tagline "Turning narcissism into optimism." Cards explaining the Selfie Jar concept also will be placed in attendee conference bags.
Well, this is fun. We see so many breathy articles filled with endless platitudes on why you should choose a career in advertising. Well, here's a contrarian viewpoint in the form of a Slideshare presentation. So here we go.
The presentation talks about getting lost in translation due to the plethora of simultaneous, mind-numbing projects. Then there's the need to work on unglamorous projects whether you like it or not. Third, there's no credit where credit is due. It can be hard to receive recognition when the account manager, or the executive team, is always taking credit for the sleepless nights that you sacrificed.
Fourth, the heavy workload. Too many projects, not enough time, over-promises that cannot be met, clients who are mercilessly demanding. Fifth, less than stellar pay that just doesn't mirror the long hours and gigantic headaches that can accompany life inside an advertising agency. Sixth, obscenely long work hours that while part of a good work ethic can be soul crushing. And seventh, being forced to be creative under pressure and on a schedule. Developing great creative is not easy and doesn't always fit inside a neat timetable.
If you work in an agency, you are, no doubt, familiar with each of these 7 points. You are also familiar with the many joys and rewards that come with the job as well. Sure, it's tough work -- but it can be a lot of fun too.
Well, this is cute. Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for diversity in advertising. Except when the industry launches program after program after program and nothing ever changes. Sadly, every diversity-in-advertising effort is just one failure after another.
And so pardon me if I don't get all that excited about the latest effort -- a partnership between the Interactive Advertising Bureau and AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong. Together, we now have the IAB Education Foundation, "a new nonprofit organization to increase racial, ethnic, gender, and economic diversity and improve peoples’ skills in the digital media and advertising industries."
Armstrong will lead the endeavor as Chairman of the Board.
Of the foundation, Armstrong said: “The IAB has a nearly 20-year history of solving the industry's biggest growth challenges and will now focus on perhaps the most overlooked and untapped opportunity – recruiting and growing the talent and skill sets we need in our industry. We need a dedicated organization to focus solely on building a trained and professional workforce that includes all constituencies, many of which have been left behind through much of the digital revolution – minorities, women, the disabled, the economically disadvantaged, and military veterans and their families. Under the leadership of Randall Rothenberg, the IAB Education Foundation will be positioned at the forefront of helping solve this issue that confronts our industry. I couldn’t be more pleased to help lead this effort.”
For his part, Rothenberg added, “The IAB is the natural choice to lead these efforts because we know exactly what the digital technology, media and advertising companies are looking for. Our certification programs have, in the space of just a few years, taught and credentialed thousands of experienced sales and ad ops people. Now we will be able to help an even larger number of people from diverse backgrounds obtain similar credentials and qualify for entry-level positions in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.”
The foundation will launch with a cross-country "town hall tour" to listen to various constituencies within the digital advertising and media industry with the aim of gaining insight about how to improve diversity in digital media, marketing and advertising.
“We are calling this town hall listening tour ‘Voices United,’ because we want to hear from all constituencies, not just the department heads or top executives,” said Michael Theodore, Vice President, Learning and Development, IAB, and project head of the foundation. “The new curriculum and certification programs can introduce many new faces to our industries, but unless there are transparent paths toward upward mobility, true diversity will remain unrealized.”
The foundation’s first partner is the Year Up program, a national nonprofit organization that provides skills training to disadvantaged young adults and places them in Fortune 500 companies. Year Up will work with the IAB Education Foundation to develop an entry-level ad operations training program.
I wish them well.
Y&R Global Chief Executive Officer David Sable was named a vice chair of the Ad Council's Board of Directors at the organization's Executive Committee meeting last week. He will serve alongside
Board Chair David Christopher, CMO of AT&T Mobility, and Vice Chair David Kenny, Chairman and CEO of the Weather Company. Sable will serve as Vice Chair through June 2017 at which point he will
assume the Board Chair position.
Of the appointment, Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said, "David Sable has always been on the vanguard in the advertising community, including as a digital pioneer, and his dedication for giving back is exemplary. He and Y&R have been long-time supporters of the Ad Council, lending talent and time to many critical issues facing our country. We're thrilled he is taking this leadership role on our Board."
Sable joined the Ad Council Board of Directors in 2011 and became a member of the Executive Committee in 2013.
Of joining the Board, Sable said, "I believe that we can help change the world by applying creative, marketing, research, branding, public relations, digital, data -- all the skills and resources that make up our industry -- to the world's problems. No one has done more to advance public service advertising than the Ad Council and I am honored to step into this new role and committed to helping make a difference."
Are you interested in how your brand will fare this holiday season? Online marketing agency Wpromote is out with its 2015 Holiday Revenue Calculator. It's designed to give you a peek at what you can expect for revenue during the holiday season.
To get started with the calculator, you are asked to enter your brand's URL and your revenues from Q4 of 2014. You are then asked to rate your marketing activities on a sliding scale from not executed to well executed. Metrics to be graded are Adwords campaigns, dedicated emails, mobile optimization and targeting, content marketing, social CRM, shopping feed optimization, creative refresh and Black Friday/Cyber Monday landing page.
You are then magically presented with your score and expected revenue. It's part of the agency's 100 Days of Holidays campaign which includes a whitepaper billed as "The Definitive Online Marketing Roadmap."
Acknowledging that upwards of half -- depending upon whom you ask -- or more online ads are consumed by bots rather than living, breathing human beings, the Outdoor Advertising Association has
launched an campaign touting the fact that billboards, unlike current-day online ads, are seen by actual human beings.
The new campaign, called Feel the Real, carries the headline, "This Ad Is Real." Launched to coincide with Advertising Week, the campaign aims to remind people the medium is alive and well and still working hard for advertisers.
Other headlines on posters and kiosks include "You are consuming this advertisement. You are real" and, with a jab at today's online first mentality, "Media planners, do you have a reality problem?"
Several ads are placed close to ad agencies and are customized specifically for the individual agency. For example, a billboard that appears outside Ogilvy & Mather New York reads, “Hey, Shelly, does this ad feel real to you?” referring, of course, to the agency's Chairman Emeritus Shelly Lazarus.
Of the campaign, Matt Dowshen, president of PNYC which created the ads, said, “In a world where digital and its ability to deliver what it promises is under significant scrutiny, out-of-home has a unique and compelling point of view that having one foot grounded in the real world matters.”
The campaign points to a website (ironically meta?) on which viewers are asked the question, "Did you see one of our out-of-home ads?" That's followed by four options, “Yes, I saw it in the real world,” “Yes, I saw it online,” “No, I heard about it,” and “No, I’m a robot.”
What with the rampant furor over ad blockers making the rounds recently, this particular campaign might actually garner some awareness for the dusty, old outdoor ad medium.
Hey -- with the supposed demise of ad agencies and the rampant transformation they are going through to stay alive, why not an ad agency as record label? Wait, what? I thought record labels were
tanking too. Anyway. The agency is partnering in the new record label that will come under the Polydor division of Universal.
Of the move, Havas BETC Co-Founder Remi Babinet said: "A modern ad agency should be able to offer a lot more than just consulting and traditional campaigns; it should be a media, a producer and an audience generator in itself. This will be central for BETC’s development over the coming years."
Polydor GM Eric Lelievre added: “The teams at Polydor are constantly reinventing themselves to stay on top of a music industry in transformation. We are very proud to welcome BETC POP and this new pop-themed record label.”