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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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.”