Cannes Lions Is Over, Maurice Levy Is Getting Back To Work And The Chinese Are Spying On Ad Agencies

Well, Cannes Lions happened. adam&eveDDB cleaned up taking home 4 Grand Prix for Harvey Nichols. Alas, the Festival is over and it's time to get back to the mundane practice of creating working-class ads that sell stuff versus winning awards. With that in mind, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy is wasting no time refocusing his energy on less-than-massive acquisition deals, setting his sights on bolstering the digital side of the agency's business. Putting the Publicis-Omnicom debacle behind him, Levy said: "I am 100 percent focused on the future. I am not very much interested in the past; it is the end of the story. I am focusing on how we are going to sharpen our strategy." And about Sir Martin Sorrell's continued lambasting of the debacle, Levy added: "It is silly to have this kind of war. I would prefer to see Martin using the British sense of humor, which is so witty and so interesting." And on the magnitude of his planned deals, Levy said: "No one should dream about huge acquisitions. There will be some reasonable-sized ones. They will be all in digital."

Now, this is juicy. We're all very familiar with the fact that spies exist in this world. For governments. For corporations. But inside ad agencies? That's what Epoch Times reporter Joshua Philipp recently dug into in a two-part series for Manhattan Week. In the piece, Philipp reports Casey Fleming, CEO of counter-intelligence firm BlackOps, said his firm has confirmed the Chinese have put a target on American ad agencies as a backdoor into the doings of Fortune 500 companies. Philipp explains, writing: "Many of the larger ad companies deal with market intelligence and are often given proprietary information under nondisclosure agreements. This includes each company’s business strategy, planned products, market research, and information on the weaknesses of its competitors. What we see -- and what we know that they [Chinese spies] want -- is any kind of market and negotiation strategies.' They also want pricing data because they want to undercut others. They intend to manipulate markets.” Hide those briefs and research reports, people!

Oh, and while you were all focused on Cannes Lions last week, PornHub announced their selection of its first creative director. The porn site held a contest that solicited work and promised to offer a job to the person who sent in the best work. The focus was to create safe-for-work ads that would appeal to a broad audience and acknowledge the fact that, well, everyone's into sex whether or not they like to admit it. The winner of the contest for the best SFW multimedia advertising campaign is Nuri Gulver, 24, hailing from Istanbul, Turkey. Gulver’s campaign, titled “All You Need Is Hand” beat out the final 15 due to its inherent mass appeal and ease of penetration to different advertising platforms. Gulver will be awarded a year-long paid contract with PornHub and will be in charge of future ad campaigns and creative content creation.

Remember Jordan Zimmerman? That flamboyant (some might say pompous) Fort-Lauderdale ad man who promised to...wait for it...give an office tour to the person who most impressed him? OK, so he's offering a bit more than an office tour. The prize, which was awarded to Philadelphia-based John Hricik, includes a 3-day, 2-night stay in Fort Lauderdale during which Zimmerman will, yes, give an office tour but also regale Hricik with stories of motivation and success. Of Hricik, Zimmerman said, “Out of all the entries we received, John’s was the most creative -- and the most sincere. I know he’s going to come in prepared to fire questions at me and that he’ll take the information and run with it. I’m very glad he entered the contest. John’s going places.” You can watch Hricik's winning entry here .
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