Vote For PornHub's Next Creative Director

Back in March we told you about a dream job opportunity. A job that would allow your prurient thoughts to shine rather than be shunned. Yes, a job at PornHub. The adult site launched an effort to seek safe-for-work designs for an upcoming ad campaign. Well after receiving 3,000 submissions, the site has selected 15 finalists. Some are pretty good. Others are plain awful. Anyone can now vote on the finalists. So do your part. Have your say. And feel good about the next time you visit PornHub.

It's nice to see an agency promote from within. Especially when it comes to the position of President and CEO. While Mcgarrybowen did look outside the agency to fill the role of New York Office CEO following the departure of Bill Borrelle who left in September for Pitney Bowes, the agency ultimately looked inward and found Tom Sewell. Sewell has been with the agency since 2008, most recently as executive managing director on the Verizon account. Sewell will oversee the office’s 600 employees and oversee such accounts as Staples, Chase and Chevron.

Ogilvy & Mather is changing its tune a bit on that Malala Yousafzai Bounce Back ad for Kurl-On Mattresses. While the agency initially said it was investigating its standards to determine how an ad like this was released, O&M India Chairman Piyush Pandey now says everyone was in the know from the get go. He says, "This is a client which has been in conversation with us for a long time. This work was presented to them and they said release it and we will see how it goes. We are not wrong in this." While he says he never saw the ads, he adds, "Everyone else starting from my national creative directors to the regional creative directors saw it in the making and everyone loved it." And there you have it. What some people believe to be an awesome campaign may not be as well received as expected.

It's not the layoffs that just occurred over at Wieden + Kennedy that are interesting -- though as many as 30 are said to have been laid off. What's interesting is the super-lengthy comment stream attached to the AgencySpy report that's truly interesting. Not that the topic, ageism, is new but the voracity and the contempt and the sadness and the anger and the helplessness and the frustration that's being shared regarding the plight of anyone over the age of 35 in the ad agency world is so disheartening, you just might want to skip the thread entirely. Unless, of course, you're under 35 and laughing at all the old farts bitching about their situation.
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  • 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.
  • Agency Gives Up Summer Outing To Feed Less Fortunate

    Rather than do the usual thing on an agency summer outing; head to some fancy destination, get trashed and begin to act like junior high school kids at a Taylor Swift concert, London-based MEC decided to do something a bit more adult.

    Rather than get pissed on their "summer away day," 500 MEC staffers, as part of the agency's "knead and feed" initiative, headed over to the home of the Saracens Football Club to whip up some tasty meals for 5,000 of London's needy.

    In a somewhat oddly-coded quote explaining MEC's involvement, MEC Managing Director Paul Hutchinson said “At MEC, we aren’t about mouse mats and behaviors written on the wall. We are about living and experiencing behaviors together.”

    I guess that means that even the high and mighty snobs who work in advertising have to mix and mingle with the less fortunate every once in a while. It's all good though. Everyone needs to eat.
  • It Seems Harvey Keitel Won't Be Appearing In Ogilvy & Mather's E*Trade Ads

    Apparently a deal was in the making that would have had Harvey Keitel appear in a series of commercial for brokerage firm E*Trade. The deal would have paid Keitel $1.5 million for his participation. The deal never happened. And Keitel, in June, sued E*Trade citing breach of contract.

    The deal came about back in January when Ogilvy & Mather connected with Keitel's agency, ICM Partners. On behalf of Keitel, ICM's Karen Sellars, in a January 14 email, wrote, "I am very pleased that Harvey has agreed to do the three commercials for E*Trade. Per our conversations, can you please get us the long form contract as soon as possible so I can get it to your business affairs. Also, the city and days of shooting are equally important so I can run them by Harvey. And finally, please keep us in the loop in terms of the director. As I said, Harvey really wants a director who knows his work. Maybe someone like Ridley Scott, etc. and would like to have rehearsal time."

    Now while the email says Keitel agreed to the offer, E*Trade claims the contract was never signed.

    According to E*Trade, the offer was "contingent upon the results of the background check and, of course, coming to terms on script, compensation, etc." Arguing that the contract was never signed in the first place, E*Trade stated the final agreement was "not signed, contained blanks to be filled in later and invited Mr. Keitel to acknowledge his understanding of the 'proposed negotiations.'"

    E*Trade further argued that the request to have a director like Ridley Scott participated amounted to an unaccepted counteroffer.

    E*Trade has filed a counter suit asking the New York Supreme Court to dismiss Keitel's complaint.
  • Agency Proves People Will Watch Anything On YouTube

    Minneapolis-based agency Solve embarked upon an experiment asking "What it we posted a blank video on YouTube -- would anyone watch?" And by blank they mean no content, not title, no description. Nada.

    Did people watch? Oh yes, they did. Over 100,000 people have watched the video since it launched back in November of 2014. While the video now carries the title "The Blank Video Project," all it contained when it launched was a link to the agency's website.

    Solve promoted the video with instream advertising on YouTube and was charged if the viewer watched for 30 seconds or longer. The ad promoting the video was served 227,819 times at an expenditure of $1,400 yielding a cost per view of 1.4 cents. Forty-six percent of viewers clicked and watched for at least 30 seconds. Miraculously, 22 percent of viewers watched all the way until the end. The video garnered no likes or shares.

    Of the findings and the notion that many simply let the video play in the background or started it by mistake, Solve CEO John Colasanti said: "Among many marketers and agency peers, 'views' have become the holy grail. Views offer a seemingly simple and easy way to measure the power of content. This is a false indicator of success, particularly when a video receives a high number of views, but a low level of likes. Often the video didn't truly go viral; the view metric was purchased."

    And while many marketers and YouTube itself has moved beyond views as a meaningful metric, the experiment does call into questions the validity of seemingly boring videos with super high view counts. Much like a TV ad playing in the background (that still gets counted as a delivered impression), video views, according to Colasanti, do not "work as an absolute and critical metric for measuring and comparing creative effectiveness."
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