Oh, But Wait! Now It's Dallas That Thinks It's the Center Of The Ad World

While adam&eveDDB CEO James Murphy is high on London and believes it's truly the ad capital of the world, a couple of ads guys in Dallas want to be heard as well. Integer Group ECD Will Clarke and Marketing Arm Chief Strategy Officer Chris Smith were Promo and Activation judges at Cannes Lions last week, and said they surprised more than a few with their presence. Smith said, “it’s fun to see the industry’s shock that there are actually some great agencies in the flyover states. The advent of digital, social and mobile has helped agencies like the Marketing Arm have a seat at the big table normally reserved for the big traditional guys.” Clarke added, “It says a lot about Dallas’ impact and importance to the U.S. advertising community. Chris is a great guy. It was nice to have someone who spoke Texan.” But let's be honest. Is there really an ad capital any longer? The landscape has changed so much since the Mad Men era that location has become irrelevant.

WPP, so happy to still be the world's largest ad agency, is gleefully reporting a 1.2% increase in revenue for the first five months of 2014. Revenue was up to 4.425 billion British Pounds, although in dollars that translates to a 9.5% gain to $7.37 billion. Like-for-like sales, which eliminates acquisitions and currency fluctuations, increased 7.6%. Net sales were up 4% compared to 3.8% for Q1 2014 and 4.4% for Q4 2013. Of the increases, a company statement read, “Operating profit is above budget and well ahead of last year and the increase in the gross margin or net sales margin is in line with the group’s full year target of a 0.3 margin point improvement on a constant currency basis." The UK contributed nicely to these increases with a 7% like-for-like increase in sales.

Economics guru Dr. Joe Webb has taken another look at the ad world; this time examining the dichotomy between the continued increase in ad agency revenue and the corresponding decline in revenue for publishers. Even in a world where content marketing is being trumpeted as the newest new new thing, publishers aren't benefiting. Explaining the change, Webb writes: "Agencies are now active in social media and less active in other formats that require the purchase of time (broadcast) or space (print ads, billboards). They are more active in finding sponsorships of events, and in the staging of events, especially online. Social media requires constant engagement with the audience, and agencies provide the personnel that assume those responsibilities on behalf of their clients." Couple that with the fact that many brands, themselves, are becoming publishers in their own right and things look quite bleak for the media. And poster child Native Advertising doesn't seem to be making much of a dent.

Moroch Partners announced the appointment of Sam Chadha as the agency’s first Chief Integration Officer, along with Glenn Geller as Managing Partner of Brand Planning Strategy and Dina Light-McNeely as Director of Digital & Social Strategy to its senior leadership team. Prior to Moroch, Chadha was EVP, Managing Director of Business Strategy and Development at Starcom MediaVest Group in Chicago. Geller brings 30 years of industry experience to Moroch, most notably as the EVP Director of Planning and Research at Boznell/Temerlin McClain for almost two decades. Light-McNeely has held a strategic leadership role on IMC2’s pharmaceutical and retail clients, served as EVP of Digital Strategy for Rosie Pope and most recently worked as VP, Strategy Solutions Lead at RAPP.
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  • 11 Pieces of Career Advice From Mad Men's Peggy Olson

    In an LA Times Entertainment piece, you can find 11 pieces of career advice for women that are based on the Peggy Olson character from Mad Men. And we all know Peggy, who rose from obscurity to full on executive fame over the course of the series, has learned a lot and has much to share.

    Advice ranges from not relying on your femininity to get ahead to demanding appropriate work space to taking power when it comes your way to maintaining a professional relationship even when there is a lot of personal baggage to never fall in love with your married boss.

    Peggy's been through a lot. She's grown professionally and personally. And she's become wise with advice to share. We'll see her a few more times as Mad Men makes its final run this Spring.

  • Yannick Bollore Is Perfectly Happy Havas Isn't Huge

    In the advertising holding company world, which is run exclusively by men, and in the regular world which, some would argue, is still run by men, there is and always has been a fixation with size. And size in the sense that bigger is always better. That line of thinking runs rampant from the boardroom to the bedroom. 

    But not everyone thinks bigger is better and while "being huge" is good if you're in a porn flick, that's not always the case in business. Havas CEO Yannick Bollore has no desire to be the biggest holding company. In fact, he thinks Havas is perfectly sized. He says, "Havas has the ideal scale. We are the fittest group in the industry today and our size is the key to our current success." 

    And on his competitor's fixation with swelling to ever larger girth, Bollore adds, "It'll just make us slower. I do not want to be the biggest. This obsession is nonsense, and for what?" 

    What's that saying? "It's not the size that matter. It's how you use it."

    So take that Sorrell and Levy. Bigger is not always better. Especially when you're trying to hook up with...um...a smaller brand.
  • Mad Men's Jon Hamm Just Completed 30 Days of Alcohol Rehab

    Well -- this is sad, but it has a happy ending. Mad Men star Jon Hamm recently completed 30-day stint at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut for alcohol addiction. One could joke about that mirroring his Mad Men character, Don Draper, but I'll leave that one alone.

    In a statement made by Hamm's publicist, Annett Wolf, Hamm has strong support from his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Westfeldt. Hamm checked into Silver Hill at the end of February.

    Hamm will make his final appearances as Don Draper as the remaining episodes of the last season of Mad Men kick off April 5.
  • Like A Car Dealer Screaming 'Come On Down!' This Agency Has Announced 'Limited Time Discounts'

    If there were anything an ad agency could do to further remove itself from trusted business partner and thrust itself ever deeper into insignificant vendor hell, it would be to actually put out a press release touting the fact that it's offering "a limited time promotion on all media packages."

    The release adds: "SEO SEM, infographics, animations, responsive websites, copywriting and PPC management are also included in this sales event."

    And in a supremely dumbed-down explanation of marketing that treats its audience like uninformed children, the release continues: "Advertising can be incredibly complex. Fortunately agency’s consultants can help streamline and simplify marketing efforts. A single campaign has many components, all of which must work together successfully for the plan to succeed."

    So if you need to be schooled on advertising or need "up to a 10% discount" on your next campaign, give a shout out to Eye to Ad Media  (http://www.eyetoad.com/) whose URL, oddly, spells "eye toad" -- bringing up an entirely different image than that of a professional ad agency.
  • AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Says Agencies Are All Talk And Little Action

    Speaking at the AAAA's Transformation Conference in Austin, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong isn't 100 percent happy with agencies delivering on all their hype about new methods of advertising. He gives them an A- for the talk and a Bi for execution. This, really, should be no surprise to anyone. At all. Agencies are masters in pontificating about the latest shiny new object, but when it comes to doing actual work -- well, not so much.

    In another observation of the obvious, Armstrong thinks agencies do a poor job marketing themselves, saying: "From a talent perspective, from a client perspective, from a media perspective, the ongoing discussion about ad agencies and what comes up in those marketplaces in general...very little of it talks about the value proposition. There's a lot of value getting driven here that will get you better talent, get you better clients."

    But despite his misgivings on agency value proposition, Armstrong still thinks marketers need agencies. He added: "The biggest misnomer that people seem to have in the agency business is this whole notion of whether or not you need an agency. The clients don't have the headcount to operationalize a lot of the stuff we just talked about in general. They'll hire their people, they'll get there, but right now they don't."

    Good news for agencies, perhaps.
  • Ooo! Ooo! Agency Launches New Web Site That Is 'Closely Aligned With Company's Vision' !!

    BREAKING! The Brandon Agency, an ad agency based in Myrtle Beach that provides "award-winning marketing communications programs and campaigns proven to drive client success has...wait for it...launched a new Web site (http://www.thebrandonagency.com/)! It's completely redesigned! And they are really proud of it. So let's all be proud right along with them.

    Of the new site and the agency's focus, The Brandon Agency CEO Scott Brandon gushed: “Here at The Brandon Agency, big thinking is king. Our new site showcases how we specialize in developing and executing ideas that are good for our clients’ business; big ideas that will produce growth for them, while at the same time providing accountability and measurement.”

    The whole new site/non-news element aside, the site does look quite good. It's clean, straightforward and uncluttered. None of that "we are so f*cking creative, we don't care if our site gives you a seizure of makes you feel like an incompetent idiot" nonsense. Nope, just clear and concise information.

    But wait, there's more! Brandon adds: “This is the first phase or our site redesign. We will be launching Phase 2 later in the year which includes a more in-depth look into our agency’s people and capabilities.”
  • Maurice Levy to Get Hip With David Guetta During Cannes Lions

    At this year's Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy will take the stage with David Guetta, world-renowned French DJ Producer, for the Groupe's seminar which will explore innovation, creativity and the "zeitgeist of our industry today."

    The seminar is called "Making the Brand: Authenticity and Influence through Celebrity Endorsements" and will take place in the Grand Auditorium on Thursday, June 25 at 4:00 p.m. CET, at the Palais des Festivals.

    Guetta, as you may know, is a musician and marketer who has done his share of celebrity endorsements. From partnerships with brands like MUMM, Renault and most recently, TAG Heuer, to co-designing a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre, and co-founding a specialized agency for celebrity marketing, My Love Affair, Guetta also just released a new album titled "Listen" with international artists including Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Sia, and others.

    Together with Levy, the two will discuss how celebrity endorsements have evolved from a simple play for buzz to a transformational creative role in marketing, advertising, and branding. Guetta will also give the audience an inside look at just how pivotal social media is in building relationships between artists and their audiences.

  • Maurice Levy Says France is 'Half Pregnant' And The UK Is 'Dangerous'

    Advertising Week is happening this week in Europe. And all the usual suspects are in attendance including Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy, who had a few choice words to share.

    On the topic of challenges that French businesses face, Levy said: "The result of the elections was slightly better than expected, we were fearing to see the Far Right coming in first. They are second and that is still too high. If we look back at what has been the action of the government in France, I must confess it has not been as productive as it could be. We have a French disease which is half-pregnancy: All our governments have done a lot of reforms, but none of the reforms that have been implemented in the last 20 years have gone deep enough to solve the problems."

    And on the topic of British politics, Levy said: "I respect the fact that the UK has this separate currency, and that's fine, the Euro has not been implemented everywhere ... I am so sorry to see that David Cameron has decided he could call a referendum [to pull out of the European Union which Levy said would be "dangerous"] on Europe. This would be the end of Europe as we dreamed it, and this would be for me a very, very strong disappointment."

    Wait -- isn't Advertising Week supposed to be about advertising?

  • This Crazy Intern Recruitment Video From Mother Is The Most Wildly Awesome Thing You Will See Today

    Mother is awesome. Mother has always been awesome. And so it's kind of without surprise that this little bit of awesomeness comes from the agency. It's a recruitment video for interns, but it's unlike any recruitment video you have ever seen before.

    It's always been a bit of a putdown to refer to interns (or anyone for that matter) as fresh meat. But that's exactly what Mother does in the this video. However, they do it so brilliantly that you really can't fault them for this gem of political-correctness-be-damned.

    It's a psychedelic ride and the lyrics are twisted: "It doesn't matter where you've been before, We want you raw because you're hungry. Even if you've been on the floor. No want no day old meat. No want no stinky feet. No want to take no heat. Just give us our fresh meat."

    For those who have toiled in the ad world for any significant bout of time, the meat and meat grinder metaphor will not be lost on you. Check out the video here.

  • SK+G Hires New Business Guy From Red Bull's Ad Agency

    Las Vegas based SK+G Global has appointed of former Kastner & Partners Exec Brian Veasey to director of business development. Veasey joins the agency from his previous role as a consultant. Prior to serving as a consultant, Veasey was business development director at Kastner & Partners, Red Bull’s worldwide advertising agency.

    Veasey, born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, moved to London and spent seven years working on business development for several agencies, including ZenithOptimedia, Saatchi & Saatchi and PING. Veasey also managed a business development consultant agencies in London. He was eventually hired by one of his clients, Kastner & Partners, to grow the agency in London.

    In 2006, Veasey was brought to the United States to handle the expansion of Kastner & Partners in Los Angeles. After departing Kastner & Partners, Veasey consulted for several agencies handling their expansion efforts.

    Of the hire, SK+G Managing Partner John Schadler said, “Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to our agency and his business experience in multiple countries is aligned with our desire for continued global expansion."

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