Privately Held Canadian Agency Cossette Is Up For Sale

Five years after Connecticut-based private equity firm Mill Road Capital helped take Canadian-based ad agency Cossette private, Mill Road is putting the agency up for sale, saying it “has decided to explore strategic alternatives for the company’s North American assets.” Mill Road took the then-public agency private in 2009 -- with the formation of mini holding company, Vision7 -- when a bit of a feud erupted between partners Claude Lessard and Francois Dufar. Lessard prevailed. Of the sale, a statement read: “Vision7 management is supportive of the review and is playing a major role in the process. While the company cannot speculate about potential outcomes, any decisions from the strategic review will include the best interests of its clients and employees and continued leadership from the management team.”

Ogilvy & Mather Argentina and the IAE Business School have, together, launched Ogilvy Finishers, a program which aims to help entrepreneurs who have ideas or projects in the area of communications. The program's mantra is," The world is full of starters -- become a finisher." Of the program, Ogilvy & Mather Latina South CEO German Yunes said, “We aim at finding ideas and creativity outside agencies. Ogilvy Finishers allows us not only to identify and find innovative communication projects, but also to make them come true." Ogilvy & Mather Strategic Innovation Director Giego Luque added, “Ogilvy Finishers is one step forward for Ogilvy. We are evolving towards venture marketing, combining our knowledge in communication with experience in business and investment.” 48 business ventures have registered and seven will be chosen for the program.

A new study from Accenture Interactive which queried CMOs on the future of marketing found digital could account for 75% of marketing budgets with mobile accounting for 50% in the next five years. Other findings from the study include the fact that email has grown the most in effectiveness but search engine marketing, mobile and the corporate website remain the most effective. Surprisingly, print ads pop up as equally effective according to respondents. The results of the study have, of course, been given the infographic treatment because, well, people just can't be bothered with reading any longer.

While we're on the topic of studies and digital, it's interesting to note that one in four U.S. ad agencies still feel the need for digital-only groups. This figure comes from a recent poll conducted by Second Wind, a consultancy for medium-sized ad agencies which likely skews the results for ad agencies at large. Even so, have we not all yet arrived at the point where digital consumes every aspect of what an agency does for clients? One argument calls for the complete integration of interactive into the overall offering. Yet, as history has shown, agencies have always split media into groups with radio buying groups, TV buying groups, print buying groups, etc. That's on the media side. On the creative side, it's always been more media agnostic. It's not a secret that certain skills are required for certain digital efforts but as digital accounts for more and more of a brand's marketing budget, digital will become the primary offering of all agencies. But as long as people watch TV (old school cable and broadcast), listen to terrestrial radio, read magazines and drive by billboards, there will always be a need for people with skill sets relevant to those channels of media.

Famous Dave's, a Minneapolis-based chain of barbecue restaurants is seeking a Chicago ad agency according to sources reporting to Chicago Business Journal Reporter Lewis Lazare. The recent search for a new ad agency comes as no surprise as the brand just named former McDonald's President and CEO Ed Rensi its new CEO. Sources say the search for a Chicago agency may stem from Rensi's familiarity with the Chicago ad world having worked with both DDB and Leo Burnett during his tenure at McDonald's.
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