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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  • CP+B's Chuck Porter to Serve As Chief Juror For Table Tent Awards

    With it being so close to April Fool's Day, one might wonder whether or not The Tenties are just a hilarious take on the ad industry's obsession with awards. Oh wait. Anyway, The Tenties has issued its call for entries which begins May 15.

    The Tenties has also announced CP+B Chairman Chuck Porter as Chief Juror. Apparently, table tents were Chuck's first foray into advertising, and the medium is near and dear to his heart having helped jumpstart his career.

    Some of the award categories include Best Table Tent for less than 1,000 tables, Best Table Tent for more than 1,000 tables, best Flip Stand table tent, best Quad-Fold table tent, best use of a QR code on a table tent, best Cylindrical table tent and best "green" table tent.

    And where will this awesome award ceremony take place? Well, it seems it will occur September 15 in Las Vegas...at the Holiday Inn...in Ballroom B. Sounds pretty swanky, right?

  • Millennials Are Reshaping Ad Agencies And It's Not All Positive

    Like everything in advertising, it's standard practice to obsess over all things young. So it is without surprise that much of the work agencies pump out is geared toward younger audiences. But while ad agencies have forever been youth=obsessed, they seldom look inward to realize what the young -- their own Millennial employees -- mean to the agency.

    In an in-depth piece for AdWeek, David Gianatasio examines the effect Millennials are having on the day-to-day operation of the agencies for which they work. Predictably, Millennials are great at speedily implementing the tech-heavy aspects to today's social media-fueled ad campaigns. They are also frank, forthcoming and in management's face, disrupting things in a mostly positive manner. AAAA's EVP Singleton Beato says: "Millennials are the great disrupter. They are energizing our industry and causing our leaders to lean forward and listen and learn in new ways."

    But, like any age group, it's not all roses and lollipops. Gianatasio finds there is a propensity for Millennials to focus on The Now and less on the past and the future. In other words, they lack perspective. Mullen Mediahub CMO John Moore says, "I don't think they understand the history of advertising like we do. They just don't have the curiosity." 

    Summarizing this viewpoint, Gianatasio writes: "Older execs worry that millennials who are ignorant of history may be doomed to repeat its mistakes. And that lack of institutional knowledge plays into another shortcoming: Millennials tend to emphasize tactics over long-term strategy. That can be a plus when shops need to quickly address an issue dealing with technology—say, whether to use Instagram or Vine to target a particular demo. But overemphasizing tactics can be a negative when creating all-encompassing campaigns aimed at bolstering brands and boosting the bottom line."
  • CP+B's Andrew Keller: Failure Isn't So Bad

    In an interview with The Guardian, Crispin Porter + Bogusky CEO Andrew Keller shared his thoughts on failure and how failure can fuel future success.

    When Keller was in college, he intended to become a doctor. That didn't go so well. Of that time in his life. Keller said, “I was at a very small college in a very small town. And having failed, I decided I’d stay in that town for the summer and work as a cook in this restaurant. I wanted to know: how bad was failure? I’d seen my dominant dream, to be a doctor, come crashing down. And it was like, okay -- let’s explore this a little bit.”

    Of the lessons he learned during this supposed failure, Keller added, “I was supposed to be a doctor, so staying in a little town and working in a restaurant -- that was not something that figured in my hopes and dreams. But I did that, and it gave me confidence. Because it wasn’t so bad. Failure isn’t so bad.”

    And even though society and culture view failure as taboo and something to certainly avoid, Keller says we all should resist this line of thinking. Because failure is most certainly going to happen. That's what he tells his kids. He says, "failure is going to happen to all of us. It is going to happen to you.” So embrace it and learn from it.

  • Morals in Advertising: Paleo Blogger Does Voiceover Work For Coca-Cola and KFC

    As proof yet again that morals are nonexistent in advertising, it's been revealed that paleo food blogger  Charlotte Carr has been doing voiceover work for the likes of crap food brands KFC, Coca-Cola and Cadbury's (actually, actual chocolate minus all the added sugar isn't bad for you, according to the Paleo diet). 

    Carr authored the cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers, but it was shelved earlier this month by publisher Pan Macmillan Australia after it was reportedly dubbed "potentially deadly for babies" by health experts. Undaunted, co-author Pete Evans, said: "Charlotte, Helen (co-author Helen Padarin) and I are thrilled to announce that "Bubba Yum Yum The Paleo Way” will be a proudly independent digital worldwide release in April with print to follow."

    Carr's talent agency, RML Voices, has confirmed that Carr has be doing voiceover work for seven years. She also does voiceover work for CVHerry Ripe, a chocolate and cherry concoction from Cadbury.
  • Minneapolis Agency Periscope Reaping Benefits of Twitter's Periscope Launch

    Unless you've been living under the proverbial rock, you've certainly heard about Twitter’s launch of Periscope, a live-streaming app that aims to supplant the other recently launched live-streaming app, Meerkat.

    For the past week, the agency has had thousands of people tweet at its @Periscope Twitter handle, which it has had since 2009. You see, most don't realize that the Twitter handle of Twitter-owned Periscope is @PersicopeCo, not @Periscope. Even tech journalist Walt Mossberg mistakenly used @Periscope when mentioning the launch.

    Of the sure-to-be-continuous mixup, Periscope (the agency) Brand Manager Bridget Jewell said: "It's been every social media person's dream. Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, but with tons of Twitter notifications." 

    Of course, all of this unwarranted attention will most assuredly become bothersome and downright annoying very soon. It's sort of like asking people to tweet @FordCo when trying to reach Ford Motor Company.
  • Mad Men Opening Credit Bench Turned Into Actual Bench

    From now until the end of summer, those passing by the Time-Life building, home to the "Mad Men" fictional SC&P agency, will have the chance to sit on a bench crafted to look just like the bench in the opening credits of "Mad Men."

    The 12-foot bench was designed by Pentagram and consists of just two pieces -- a half-inch thick rolled steel plate seat and a 10-foot cast-concrete base. 

    So if you've got a hankering to sidle up to Don Draper (or whomever that silhouette turns out to be) then now's your chance.

  • That Agency That Just Launched A New Web Site Has Now Done Something Newsworthy

    The Brandon Agency -- which, ahem, just launched a new Web site, has just done something a bit more newsworthy. On Friday, March 20, the agency closed its Charleston office so that employees could take the day to volunteer for Operation Home, a non-profit that helps people remain in their homes by increasing home safety and accessibility.

    The agency’s staff spent the day in Hollywood, S.C., with Operation Home building a wheelchair ramp to enable an area resident to get in and out of their home safely. The result was a 29-foot wheelchair ramp to provide easy access for the homeowner.

    Of the effort, The Brandon Agency VP Media Director Shelby Greene said: “As a business organization, The Brandon Agency believes that we have a responsibility to serve others and give back in our surrounding communities. It’s wonderful to be a part of an agency that sees the importance of serving those in need and encourages us to take the time to do just that as a team. We believe Operation Home serves a valuable purpose and we are thrilled to jump on board with them.”

    Yes, that's much, much better that touting the launch of a new Web site.
  • This Ad Agency Now Makes Its Client's Hamburgers

    In the continuing shift away from the actual duties of, you know, creating advertising, 72andSunny has created a new spicy burger for Carl's Jr. The agency came up with the burger concept, named it and designed the packaging -- but they also developed the burger's ingredients. 

    Of the involvement, 72andSunny CCO Glenn Cole said: “We don’t look at our job as being an ad agency or marketing agency. We see our job as being an accelerator of business.”

    An accelerator of business. Well, it's good to know that an agency now thinks that creating advertising to help sell a product is now so boring that they would rather create the product as well. Of course, there's nothing really wrong with that. After all, advertising people are creative. So why not help develop creative food?
  • 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.
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