Why POG Really Failed

Fred & Farid, that deliciously witty agency in Paris, is out with a "case study" video about what really happened during the Publicis Omnicom merger and why it failed. It seems Fred & Farid misled Maurice Levy and John Wren a bit so that when the two first met up to discuss the deal, both Maurice and John thought they were top dog. Naturally, a testosterone-fueled fight ensued. But, there were funny pictures, and in the end, Sir Martin Sorrell came out smiling. And everyone loves a smiling Sir Martin Sorrell. Watch the video.

The Art Directors Club, which is doing its damnedest to get everyone to call it ADC, is out with Portfolio Cards, a partnership with Twitter that allows up-and-coming young creatives seeking the attention of creative directors worldwide to use Twitter Cards to highlight their portfolios. And to make sure everyone keeps talking about The Art...uh...ADC following the close of its Portfolio Night this week. They're calling it the TweetFolio. Cute. To make it work, budding creatives place four projects in a Portfolio Card using the Twitter Gallery Card, @PortfolioNight tweets the card, the tweet will be seen by those following @PortfolioNight and CDs can expand the tweet to check out the work. 

Former Havas Worldwide New York Chief Digital Officer Alex Bombeck has landed at Sparks Grove, the marketing and creative division of North Highland. Bombeck will lead the Atlanta-based division, which provides marketing, visioning and visualization (whatever that is), emerging interactions, and communication services. Of his move, and his family's, to Atlanta for the gig, Bombeck said: "After almost 20 years in the marketing services industry, I have gained an appreciation for both the art and the science of brand relationships, communications frameworks and platform integration. I appreciate the uniqueness of the Sparks Grove business model, as well as North Highland's world-class advisory, strategy and execution expertise. I look forward to working alongside the accomplished team at Sparks Grove." Bombeck joins Sparks Grove as the agency saw 50% growth in revenue over the past two years, has grown to 80 staffers and is adding 5,000 square feet to its Atlanta office space.

Changes are afoot over at Ogilvy & Mather UK. Annette King has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Paul O’Donnell, who has been promoted to CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Europe, Africa and the Middle East. King will continue to lead OgilvyOne in the EAME region and will still report to O’Donnell who retains his role as Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK. Both will be based in London and take up their roles immediately. Of her new gig, King said, “I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to run Ogilvy & Mather UK. I can't wait to start working with the teams across the group to take the business forward, building on the enormous growth of the last five years." 

Lexington, Kentucky-based agency Meridian-Chiles has shut its doors and filed for bankruptcy. The agency owes $5.1 million in back payments to creditors. Half of that amount is owed to Central Bank. Larry Chiles and Jim Jordan founded the company, which was originally known as Jordan-Chiles, in 1988. Chiles bought Jordan out in 2006.

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  • Saatchi & Saatchi's Justin Billingsley Promoted to Chief Doorway Officer

    OK, OK, so Saatchi & Saatchi's Dynamic Markets CEO Justin Billingsley hasn't been promoted to CDO -- which, not to confuse matters, is a really a Chief Data Officer. Rather, he's been promoted to Chief Operating Officer -- but according to Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Robert Senior, the agency is big on doorways.

    Of the promotion, Senior said, “Justin and I have a great working partnership. It is as simple as this: we both stand in the doorway of the Saatchi & Saatchi network. From there I tend to look outwards, and Justin tends to look inwards. We need to do both in order to lift our game and achieve our purpose.”

    So, Chief Doorway Officer, right? 

    Anyway, Billingsley is fired up about the promotion and said" “This role represents an inspirational challenge to wake up to each day: If we are promising our clients and our people that ‘Nothing is Impossible’ then what kind of agency does it take to deliver this today and what will be needed tomorrow? We are defining what this means and transforming accordingly, combining new skills with a hunger for creative excellence and world-changing ideas. And it’s fun, making Saatchi & Saatchi more Saatchi & Saatchi.”

    A hunger, people, a hunger!

    All of Saatchi & Saatchi’s offices will report to Billingsley, who will focus on growing the agency and making the necessary changes to do so. He will continue to lead the agency’s M&A activity as well as continue to serve on the executive board and global leadership team of Saatchi & Saatchi.

  • New York Agency '6S Marketing' Has Launched A Campaign Asking Apple Not to Name Its New Phone 6S

    New York-based agency 6S Marketing has launched a campaign to encourage Apple to re-name its upcoming iPhone 6S to, well, anything other than the agency's namesake. The agency has written an open letter to Apple pleading with the brand to just call the phone the iPhone 7 because the agency says #WeAre6S.

    In addition to the open letter, the agency has purchased several mobile and stationary billboards -- one in Times Square, which read, "Dear Universe, Please call it the iPhone 7. Sincerely 6S Marketing."

    The agency says it chose the name 6S because it sounds like "success."

    The letter reads, in part: "See, our company name is 6S Marketing, but our clients, friends, and colleagues simply refer to us as good ol’ '6S.' It’s a small name but a big part of our identity — one we’ve been using since 2000, when we started this company in my tiny apartment. At that time, we didn’t think that one of the biggest, and most well-respected, companies would use it to name a mobile device. (We were still using Motorola flip phones at the time, after all.)

    Of course it's just all one publicity stunt because Apple, much like it did with the 4S and 5S, is going to do what it damn well pleases and no agency that no one has ever heard of is going to change anything.

    Nice publicity stunt though!
  • Havas Uses Airbnb to Recruit Interns With Rental Of Agency Loft And Couch

    The latest intern recruitment stunt has Havas Boondoggle Amsterdam offering interns a gig in exchange for a free stay in the agency's loft or, more specifically, the couch in the agency's loft. Rather than offering pay to the interns, the agency believes a one to seven night stay in Amsterdam, and all the excitement that goes along with that, is payment enough.

    Of recruiting interns through Airbnb, Havas Boondoggle Amsterdam ECD Menno Schipper told AdWeek, "Airbnb attracts the more adventurous kind of people. That's exactly the energy we're looking for in ad students."

    After contacting the agency through Airbnb, potential interns are asked to send in their portfolio for consideration. Once and intern is selected, there are a few rules which must be followed. Interns are asked not to drink all the beer in the fridge, not to feed the agency dog and, OMG, not to touch the other interns or employees.

  • Starcom Narrowly Avoids Wrath of FTC Over Disclosure Debacle In Xbox One Campaign

    An online influencer campaign for Starcom MediaVest Group client Xbox One managed by gamer lifestyle video entertainment network Machinima was found to have run afoul of FTC guidelines for disclosure. According to the FTC, Machinima paid two Xbox One endorsers a total of $45,000 for creating positive review YouTube videos and paid a larger group of influencers $1 for each 1,000 page views achieved but the company did not require the influencers to disclose they had been paid.

    A settlement reached Wednesday prohibits Machinima from engaging in similar campaigns and the firm is required to disclose paid endorsements in all future campaigns it manages. Of the ruling, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich said, "When people see a product touted online, they have a right to know whether they're looking at an authentic opinion or a paid marketing pitch."

    Positioning its deceptive actions as a favor to the industry, a Machinima statement read, "Machinima is actively and deeply committed to ensuring transparency with all of its social influencer campaigns. We hope and expect that the agreement we have reached today will set standards and best practices for the entire industry to follow to ensure the best consumer experience possible."

    Regarding the role of Starcom and Microsoft in the matter, an FTC press release read, "while Microsoft and Starcom both were responsible for the influencers’ failure to disclose their material connection to the companies, Commission staff considered the fact that these appeared to be isolated incidents that occurred in spite of, and not in the absence of, policies and procedures designed to prevent such lapses"

    An August 26th letter from the FTC to Microsoft and Starcom outline the findings of the Commission and indicate no enforcement action will be taken against either company.
  • Wieden+Kennedy Joins Oregon's Bike Commute Challenge

    This year, as it has done for many, Wieden+Kennedy is joining Oregon's Bike Commute Challenge month, an effort which encourages more people to commute to work on a bike. 

    In a blog post, the agency explains further, writing: "The Bicycle Transportation Alliance, a non-profit bike advocacy group based in Portland, puts on the Bike Commute Challenge every September, during which businesses compete to have the highest percentage of commutes by bike. W+K is always a front runner in the competition (we’ll catch you this year, Reed College!)."

    How many miles will the agency log this year? More than last, we hope -- but we're all just going to have to wait until the end of September to find out.

    Good luck, W+K!

  • Former Ad Exec Promises to Wear Your Agency T-Shirt In Prostate Cancer Fundraising Effort

    Anthony Kalamut, former ad guy and current professor at Toronto's Seneca College Creative Advertising, has posted a "pay it forward" challenge to ad agencies on his Facebook page. He has since posted to his blog for all to see. Kalamut has been undergoing some health issues and as part of his recovery, he began wearing various ad and non-ad-related t-shirts during his workouts and posting images.

    Many of the shirts he has worn have come from ad agencies such as Taxi and Strawberry Frog. He notes he learned from Strawberry Frog Founder Scott Goodson that it doesn't take much to start a movement and with that thought, he's launching an effort to raise money for prostate cancer research.

    In his post, Kalamut writes: "Send me your agency's t-shirt and I'll wear it in one of my workouts, take a photo, post it and donate $10 to Prostate Cancer Canada. So please help me pay it forward and support my effort."

    In addition to the agency outreach on Facebook, Kalamut has set up a donation campaign directly with Prostate Cancer Canada on which anyone can donate directly to the cause.
  • Ad Couple Who Quit Agency Jobs To Travel the World Now Cleaning Toilets to Make Ends Meet

    A while back you may have heard about the South African ad couple who quit their agency jobs and decided to travel the world and keep a journal of their adventure. As is usually the case with these "find yourself" journeys shared on social media, activities and adventures almost always fall into the "damn, I wish I were them" category. Except for Chanel Cartell and Steve Dirnberger -- and likely, most others who just aren't honest -- not every aspect of their travels has been epically spectacular.

    In fact, they now clean toilets to help pay for their travels. In a recent blog post, the couple shared the fact that traveling the world isn't always roses or peaches and cream or whatever metaphor you want to apply. No, sometimes the money runs out and you've just gotta do what you've gotta do to make ends meet. And that's exactly what Cartell and Dirnberger have had to do. 

    In a blog post entitled We Quit Our Jobs In Advertising To Scrub Toilets, the couple share the less than glamorous side of world travel. 

    The couple write: "After being gone exactly 6 months, I feel it necessary we share the uglier side of our trip. Browsing through our blog posts and Instagram feed, it seems like we’re having the time of our lives. And don’t get me wrong -- we are. It’s bloody amazing. But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished."

    And of the notion that we are often fooled by social media into thinking everyone's life but our own is spectacular, they add, "So don’t let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. Nuh uh. I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously)."

    And so when you think your life sucks because everyone on social media seems to have such a perfect life, remember, social media favors the more positive aspects of life.

     

  • Crispin Porter + Bogusky Thinks Two Managing Directors Are Better Than One

    Following its new decentralized managerial model, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has hired a second managing director for its Boulder office. Devin Reiter, who previously worked with the agency on the Microsoft account before leaving for a year-long stint at McCann Erickson New York, has returned and will work alongside the office's other managing director, Danielle Whalen.

    Of the doubling up of managing directors, CP+B Global CEO Lori Senecal said: "We have small, tight teams of hands-on doers who are in charge of creating the very best work. So when an office becomes too large for one MD to have meaningful personal impact on each and every client business, we need to expand our leadership to deliver this promise."

    The move follows -- and is line with -- the exodus of Andrew Keller, a 17-year veteran of the shop. Keller's position as executive creative director, and the oversight that position provided, was eliminated to make way for the new decentralized approach to management.

    One wonders how long before the tide turns and the agency realizes the deck hands have taken over the ship and they've got a disorganized mutiny on their hands.

  • Top National Ad Agency Announces Half Price Logo Sale!!

    Well it looks like "top national advertising agency" Eye To Ad Media is at it again. Back in March they announced a "limited time promotion" on SEO, SEM, infographics, animations, responsive Web sites, copywriting and PPC management. And even more magically, they announced the fact that they now offer domain name registration and Web hosting services. 

    Now the agency that loves to write gushing press releases about the mundane offerings it decides are worthy of news has done it again. This time they've announced...wait for it...a half-price sale on all premium logo designs. Yup, you read that right. The agency will create a premium logo -- not a regular logo, mind you -- for half price. Oh, and it's a limited time offer, so you had better hurry!

    The rest of the press release reads like design 101 with gems like "Most business owners understand the importance of maintaining a healthy bottom line and know having strong logos, icons or emblems can build brands that are memorable and easily recognized" and "There's so much more to a brand than a logo, and a logo can become so much more than a brand. It can become an icon and carry a meaning among consumers that is known as a company's image. A strong brand can become nationally known, or even internationally known."

    I mean who knew?
  • 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.”

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