Maurice Levy Adjusts Expectations For 2014 Sales Growth

Publicis is warning observers that it will be "very difficult" for the agency to meet its annual target of 4 percent annual growth after a lackluster second quarter stemming partly from the failed Publicis-Omnicom merger. Speaking to investors and the press Tuesday, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said: "There is one point that we may have underestimated: the time that we devoted to the merger. That has certainly weighed on our performances." Net profit in the first half of the year fell 17% to $351.6 million on sales of $3.36 billion. While organic sales rose 0.5% in the second quarter, that fell short of analysts' expectations. Ever the upbeat CEO, Levy expects the second half of the year to be brighter as the merger debacle becomes a distant memory and Publicis agencies refocus their efforts on core business. Levy added: "I am confident we will see enhanced growth, margins and shareholder compensation."

Calling all high school students interested in advertising! Or better yet, all you advertising old farts with kids old enough to be in high school. The American Advertising Federation has launched its 2nd annual AdCamp, a program designed to introduce high school students to the world of advertising. The program will be held July 27-August 1 at The City College of New York. And if you were thinking of getting your kid into this seemingly elite program, you're too late. All 19 slots have been filled; selected by the AAF following a "competitive application process." Nancy Tag, associate professor in CCNY's advertising/public relations program, will serve as faculty coordinator of the intensive week-long "industry immersion." Joanna Ventour and Antonia Chisholm, both Ad/PR majors at CCNY, will serve as interns. Of the program, Tag said: "CCNY has one of the best advertising programs in the country -- and being based in New York City makes the campus an attractive place to learn the discipline. This certainly accounts for the high number of students from outside the metropolitan area."

Perhaps you've heard? The Barbarian Group has filled two, newly created roles in the agency's creative department. Alex White will join the agency as CFO (wait -- what, they never had a CFO?) and Sherri Chambers will join as Head of Account Management (again, wait what?) Anyway, White -- who has previously held management positions at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, McCann London and Grey Group UK -- will oversee the agency's financial and strategic planning. Chambers is a 20-year account management veteran with stints at 72andSunny, StrawberryFrog, JWT New York and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

Icontrol Networks today has selected Grey San Francisco as the first agency of record for its direct-to-consumer product, Piper, a WiFi-enabled all-in-one home security and automation device. Grey San Francisco will be responsible for all advertising and media planning and buying. A new campaign is slated for late summer. Of the win, Grey San Francisco President Milan Martin said: "We're honored to work with such an innovative company and look forward to making Piper a brand people know and love around the world." And Apple has no problem with a company calling itself Icontrol?
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