Writing in Forbes, Avi Dan points out the real dangers to increasingly common 120-day payment terms: interest rates. Currently, short-term credit rates are near zero, minimizing the
effect that longer terms have on agencies. But when markets turn and interest rates shoot back up to 5% or 6%, 120-day payment terms could be a death knell for some agencies. Agencies will need to
borrow at higher interest rates just to stay afloat while waiting to be paid. Of this impending doom, Dan writes: "If the ad industry is not able to thwart this move toward
extended payment terms, this could ultimately lead to the end of the agency business model, as we know it. If agencies cannot sustain themselves financially, marketers may have to resort to a new
arrangement in which Madison Avenue’s role as an independent entity could give way to a system akin to in-house agency relationship, and where agency vendors are paid directly by the client."
Social media agency Movement Strategy has announced the addition of creative strategist, Stephen Para, as executive vice president and chief growth officer. An early proponent of digital marketing strategies, Para has helped build digital departments within agencies such as Catalyst/IMG and Tom, and Dick & Harry. He also developed a boutique design agency, The Conspiracy Project, and most recently, founded social media agency Kodiak/Samurai, contributing to his reputation as a brand communications expert. Of the hire, Movement Strategy Co-Founder Jason Mitchell said: “Over the past five years we have grown from a start-up to a highly respected agency. Bringing on Stephen marks the next step in our evolution as we focus on becoming a global social media agency. Stephen’s knowledge, creativity and relationships are helping us accomplish that.”
Advertising Age has a glowing piece on what it's touting as the new ad mecca: Austin, TX. Home to Omnicom's GSD&M, Dell, Whole Foods and SXSW, the town is indeed a happening place. But don't try to drive there. The place needs no less than three more Interstates to handle the growth. Sadly, that isn't coming anytime soon. What is coming is Ad Age's Small Agency Conference. And we have no problem mentioning that here at MediaPost. We've all got our conference series to keep the publishing side of things afloat. There's no secret there. But does one biggish ad agency and one big brand really make Austin a new ad mecca? Nothing is really going to unseat New York and San Francisco as Kings of Advertising. Think about it. What would Austin really have if it didn't have SXSW, which of course is the new love child of marketers and agencies?
Remember David Lipman? He was the guy whose agency, Lipman, tanked allegedly because of financial problems at parent company Revolate resulting in lawsuits filed for non-payment of vendor invoices. Well, he's back on his feet and has been tapped as chief creative officer for Town Creative. Of the hire, Town Creative President Wendy Maitland said: “By bringing David Lipman on board as chief creative officer, Town is revolutionizing branding and marketing in the worldwide real estate industry.”
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.”