As Merger Mania Subsides, Martin Sorrell Steps In And Poaches Talent

As the Publicis Omnicom drama subsides, life goes on and agencies continue to do what they must to survive and move ahead. In a move that has Martin Sorrell smiling from ear to ear, WPP media agency Maxus has grabbed Steve Williams from Omnicom's PHD. Williams will become Maxus' North American CEO next month and will replace “retiring” Louis Jones. Williams will oversee the agency's New York, LA, Chicago, Minneapolis and Toronto offices.

Seems like we've been hearing about the AAF awards for months now but that hasn't stopped most shops from tooting their own horn during this long, drawn-out process. The latest shop to tout its achievements is San Diego-based Piston which has made it to the final round of the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards, formerly known as the ADDYs, nabbing five national awards for work done on behalf of client Cars.com. This year, San Diego- and New York-based Piston is the only agency from San Diego headed for the national and last leg of the three-stage competition that begins at the local Ad Club level. And we simply must know, Piston is the first San Diego agency ever to win more than three awards at the national level in the 46-year history of the competition. Piston also is the first San Diego agency since 2011 to make it to the nationals. Well, okay -- congratulations!

Well alright, then. Not just one agency can celebrate this victory. Way to spread the joy across three agencies, Reckitt Benckiser. The global consumer health, hygiene and home products company has appointed three new creative agencies to its global agency roster. Droga5 New York has been appointed to lead creative development on Air Wick and Clearasil globally. Wieden+Kennedy has been appointed to lead creative development on Finish globally. McCann has been appointed to lead creative development on Mucinex and Delsym. Why hook up with one agency when you can hook up with three? Threesomes are more fun, right? Oh, wait. That'd mean a foursome. Even better!

Building out its LA office, Lowe Campbell Ewald has created a new position -- executive strategy director -- and filled it with BBD alum, Craig Kleber. Prior to joining Lowe Campbell Ewald, Kleber was chief strategy officer at DDB LA. Kleber will be in charge of the agency's strategic planning efforts as well as generating new business. Great that Kleber has a new gig but we hear Lowe is not exactly in the best of positions right now. That said, we wish Kleber well in his new endeavor and we hope it all works out for everyone involved.
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  • Former JWT President and Chief Integration Officer Mike Geiger Joins David&Goliath

    David&Goliath has hired Mike Geiger as managing partner, chief digital officer. In this new position, Geiger will report to D&G Chairman David Angelo and will be responsible for developing “world-class digital strategy, creative, integration and content production.”

    The hire is designed to help further bolster the agency's executive leadership team following a string of recent promotions, including Colin Jeffery as chief creative officer, Brian Dunbar as president and Seema Miller as chief strategy officer.

    Of the hire, Angelo said: "Over the past year, we have been assembling nothing short of an all-star leadership team. We are ecstatic to have Mike join our team as he brings a wealth of top notch digital and integrated expertise to the table. His entrepreneurial style and big thinking are a perfect fit for our Brave culture as we continue to seek out brands in need of overcoming marketing goliaths."

    And of joining D&G, Geiger said: "I'm really excited to return to an independent creative agency like D&G where I can be closer to the people and the work. At the end of the day, my passion is finding and cultivating great talent, building teams and creating breakthrough work. When I first met with David and the rest of the team, we just clicked -- we had the same values and vision for how to run a business. I can't wait to get started."

  • Ad Agency Hires Oscar Winner Julianne Moore to Sell Turkey, Country Hates Her Work

    Julianne Moore has won Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and hundreds of other acting awards -- but apparently, that isn't enough for the country of Turkey, which was not pleased with recent work she did on behalf of the country.

    Moore was hired to appear in a $4 million film, "Home Of," that was supposed to help build tourism for Turkey. But it seems Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry didn't like what they saw, referring to Moore's work in the film as "poor acting." 

    Even before Moore was chosen to appear in the film, several Turkish politicians criticized the selection of Moore, claiming she has a "depressive persona." All of which is to say it certainly seems the country of Turkey has no taste at all. 
  • Agency Builds 'Immersive' Office On the Ocean Floor

    Global marketing communications agency Fifth Ring has taken its offering to new levels. Not content with having offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific, Fifth Ring has embarked on an entirely new project in the form of a new subsea office, bringing it ever closer to its clients and markets. This office will be a fully serviced facility operating directly from the seabed. 

    The new facility will form the basis of a new subsea village. Fifth Ring is already unveiling plans for further development with a lithographic printing facility -- complete with pressurized ink waterproofing service -- a coffee shop, laundry and ironing service, corner shop with access to and from each street within the village. There will also be a smoking "shelter" which will be essentially an inverted structure filled with oxygen.

    The new office will be accessed via a large platform, which will also double up as a giant billboard, displaying advertising visible from the air, to reach a highly targeted audience of transient offshore workers. Headlines, however, must feature at least one word that contains the letter ‘H’.

    Of the new office, Fifth Ring Director of Business Development, Ian Ord said "At the end of the day, we want to be able to relate to our client base. With many of our clients being in the subsea sector, this was the logical step forward."
  • CP+B's Chuck Porter to Serve As Chief Juror For Table Tent Awards

    With it being so close to April Fool's Day, one might wonder whether or not The Tenties are just a hilarious take on the ad industry's obsession with awards. Oh wait. Anyway, The Tenties has issued its call for entries which begins May 15.

    The Tenties has also announced CP+B Chairman Chuck Porter as Chief Juror. Apparently, table tents were Chuck's first foray into advertising, and the medium is near and dear to his heart having helped jumpstart his career.

    Some of the award categories include Best Table Tent for less than 1,000 tables, Best Table Tent for more than 1,000 tables, best Flip Stand table tent, best Quad-Fold table tent, best use of a QR code on a table tent, best Cylindrical table tent and best "green" table tent.

    And where will this awesome award ceremony take place? Well, it seems it will occur September 15 in Las Vegas...at the Holiday Inn...in Ballroom B. Sounds pretty swanky, right?

  • Millennials Are Reshaping Ad Agencies And It's Not All Positive

    Like everything in advertising, it's standard practice to obsess over all things young. So it is without surprise that much of the work agencies pump out is geared toward younger audiences. But while ad agencies have forever been youth=obsessed, they seldom look inward to realize what the young -- their own Millennial employees -- mean to the agency.

    In an in-depth piece for AdWeek, David Gianatasio examines the effect Millennials are having on the day-to-day operation of the agencies for which they work. Predictably, Millennials are great at speedily implementing the tech-heavy aspects to today's social media-fueled ad campaigns. They are also frank, forthcoming and in management's face, disrupting things in a mostly positive manner. AAAA's EVP Singleton Beato says: "Millennials are the great disrupter. They are energizing our industry and causing our leaders to lean forward and listen and learn in new ways."

    But, like any age group, it's not all roses and lollipops. Gianatasio finds there is a propensity for Millennials to focus on The Now and less on the past and the future. In other words, they lack perspective. Mullen Mediahub CMO John Moore says, "I don't think they understand the history of advertising like we do. They just don't have the curiosity." 

    Summarizing this viewpoint, Gianatasio writes: "Older execs worry that millennials who are ignorant of history may be doomed to repeat its mistakes. And that lack of institutional knowledge plays into another shortcoming: Millennials tend to emphasize tactics over long-term strategy. That can be a plus when shops need to quickly address an issue dealing with technology—say, whether to use Instagram or Vine to target a particular demo. But overemphasizing tactics can be a negative when creating all-encompassing campaigns aimed at bolstering brands and boosting the bottom line."
  • CP+B's Andrew Keller: Failure Isn't So Bad

    In an interview with The Guardian, Crispin Porter + Bogusky CEO Andrew Keller shared his thoughts on failure and how failure can fuel future success.

    When Keller was in college, he intended to become a doctor. That didn't go so well. Of that time in his life. Keller said, “I was at a very small college in a very small town. And having failed, I decided I’d stay in that town for the summer and work as a cook in this restaurant. I wanted to know: how bad was failure? I’d seen my dominant dream, to be a doctor, come crashing down. And it was like, okay -- let’s explore this a little bit.”

    Of the lessons he learned during this supposed failure, Keller added, “I was supposed to be a doctor, so staying in a little town and working in a restaurant -- that was not something that figured in my hopes and dreams. But I did that, and it gave me confidence. Because it wasn’t so bad. Failure isn’t so bad.”

    And even though society and culture view failure as taboo and something to certainly avoid, Keller says we all should resist this line of thinking. Because failure is most certainly going to happen. That's what he tells his kids. He says, "failure is going to happen to all of us. It is going to happen to you.” So embrace it and learn from it.

  • Morals in Advertising: Paleo Blogger Does Voiceover Work For Coca-Cola and KFC

    As proof yet again that morals are nonexistent in advertising, it's been revealed that paleo food blogger  Charlotte Carr has been doing voiceover work for the likes of crap food brands KFC, Coca-Cola and Cadbury's (actually, actual chocolate minus all the added sugar isn't bad for you, according to the Paleo diet). 

    Carr authored the cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers, but it was shelved earlier this month by publisher Pan Macmillan Australia after it was reportedly dubbed "potentially deadly for babies" by health experts. Undaunted, co-author Pete Evans, said: "Charlotte, Helen (co-author Helen Padarin) and I are thrilled to announce that "Bubba Yum Yum The Paleo Way” will be a proudly independent digital worldwide release in April with print to follow."

    Carr's talent agency, RML Voices, has confirmed that Carr has be doing voiceover work for seven years. She also does voiceover work for CVHerry Ripe, a chocolate and cherry concoction from Cadbury.
  • Minneapolis Agency Periscope Reaping Benefits of Twitter's Periscope Launch

    Unless you've been living under the proverbial rock, you've certainly heard about Twitter’s launch of Periscope, a live-streaming app that aims to supplant the other recently launched live-streaming app, Meerkat.

    For the past week, the agency has had thousands of people tweet at its @Periscope Twitter handle, which it has had since 2009. You see, most don't realize that the Twitter handle of Twitter-owned Periscope is @PersicopeCo, not @Periscope. Even tech journalist Walt Mossberg mistakenly used @Periscope when mentioning the launch.

    Of the sure-to-be-continuous mixup, Periscope (the agency) Brand Manager Bridget Jewell said: "It's been every social media person's dream. Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, but with tons of Twitter notifications." 

    Of course, all of this unwarranted attention will most assuredly become bothersome and downright annoying very soon. It's sort of like asking people to tweet @FordCo when trying to reach Ford Motor Company.
  • Mad Men Opening Credit Bench Turned Into Actual Bench

    From now until the end of summer, those passing by the Time-Life building, home to the "Mad Men" fictional SC&P agency, will have the chance to sit on a bench crafted to look just like the bench in the opening credits of "Mad Men."

    The 12-foot bench was designed by Pentagram and consists of just two pieces -- a half-inch thick rolled steel plate seat and a 10-foot cast-concrete base. 

    So if you've got a hankering to sidle up to Don Draper (or whomever that silhouette turns out to be) then now's your chance.

  • That Agency That Just Launched A New Web Site Has Now Done Something Newsworthy

    The Brandon Agency -- which, ahem, just launched a new Web site, has just done something a bit more newsworthy. On Friday, March 20, the agency closed its Charleston office so that employees could take the day to volunteer for Operation Home, a non-profit that helps people remain in their homes by increasing home safety and accessibility.

    The agency’s staff spent the day in Hollywood, S.C., with Operation Home building a wheelchair ramp to enable an area resident to get in and out of their home safely. The result was a 29-foot wheelchair ramp to provide easy access for the homeowner.

    Of the effort, The Brandon Agency VP Media Director Shelby Greene said: “As a business organization, The Brandon Agency believes that we have a responsibility to serve others and give back in our surrounding communities. It’s wonderful to be a part of an agency that sees the importance of serving those in need and encourages us to take the time to do just that as a team. We believe Operation Home serves a valuable purpose and we are thrilled to jump on board with them.”

    Yes, that's much, much better that touting the launch of a new Web site.
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