Wyoming-based Taco John's loved its agency contact so much, it hired her away and gave her the title of CMO. After five years as VP of insights and media at Sioux Falls-based Lawrence &
Schiller, Billie Jo Waara has joined the Mexican-themed fast food restaurant to focus on growing the chain's awareness in the area. Of the hire, Taco John's CEO Jeff Linville said: "I hired Billie Jo
because of her proven results and impressive experience growing sales and transactions. I believe she will play a lead role in helping us achieve both our short and long term growth goals here at Taco
In the wake of the failed Publicis-Omnicom merger, the Mini Holding Company is rising to prominence. Yesterday we learned that Chicago-based private equity firm Lake Capital aims to acquire London-based Engine Group, parent to Deep Focus, Noise and several others. Today, Project Worldwide, the 30th largest holding company according to Ad Age's DataCenter, is acquiring LA-based Pitch which is known for its work on Burger King, Pepsi and Meineke. Of the decision to become part of Project Worldwide, Pitch Co-Founder Jon Banks said, "Life's too short to work with bad people, so when we looked at who we would want to partner with, cultural fit was definitely the threshold."
Like every other agency searching for new business models in order to stay afloat, Dallas-based ad agency Launch has, well, launched a business of its own. The agency has debuted HeadSpace, a co-working space for creative professionals. Of the launch, Launch Principal and HeadSpace Co-Founder Diane Seimetz Duncan said: "HeadSpace is unique in the Dallas marketplace, as it was designed by creative marketing professionals for creative marketing professionals. We want to be a community of ideas, innovation, networking and new opportunities for everyone -- including us."
In what will be a boon for some agencies and a disaster for others, P&G is divesting or shedding or merging half of its brands and will focus on its top 70-80 brands. Of the move, P&G Chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley said: "Today we are announcing an important strategic step forward that will significantly streamline and simplify the company's business and brand portfolio. We will become a much more focused, much more streamlined company of 70 to 80 brands." The 70-80 brands P&G plans to retain account for 90% of company sales and 95% of profit.
Copywriting legend Dick Rich passed away from a heart attack on November 1. He was 84. His daughter, Karen Rich, made his death known last week. Rich, along with Mary Wells and Rich
Greene, was one of the founders of the storied Wells Rich Green ad agency and creator of classic 60's work for Alka-Seltzer and Benson & Hedges.
He was known for his confident approach to his work telling The New York Times in 1983: “Clients don’t come to me for O.K. advertising. They come to me for great, great advertising.”
A real man’s man who will be missed.
Last month, we reported Canadian Agency, Cossette, was in talks with Chinese agency, BlueFocus Communications Group, to be acquired. That deal has been sealed for $210 million.
The sale involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Cossette's parent company, Quebec City-based Vision7 International, whose assets also include PR firm Citizen Relations. Of the acquisition, BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao said, “Having Vision7 join the BlueFocus family will help us gain better access to the North American market and emphasizes our ‘To Be Global’ strategy."
In its apparent quest for global domination BlueFocus last year acquired London-based social agency We Are Social as well as a 20 percent stake in PR firm Huntsworth.
The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against two auto dealer groups and one ad agency for violating FTC guidelines that prohibit deceptive advertising related to the cost of
buying or leasing a car.
According to the complaint against one dealer group, Billion Auto and its ad agency, Nichols Media, Inc., the dealerships and advertising company violated a 2012 FTC administrative order by frequently focusing on only a few attractive terms in their ads while hiding others in fine print (gee, no car dealer ever does that!), using distracting visuals or with rapid-fire audio delivery (a car dealer? no way!).
For example, some dealership ads promoted low monthly payments or attractive annual percentage rates and finance periods, while concealing other material items, such as low payments were for leases, not sales; major limits existed on who could qualify for discounts; and offers often included significant added costs.
Billion Auto and Nichols Media have agreed to pay $360,000 in civil penalties to settle the FTC’s charges. Of the settlement, FTC Director Jessica Rich said, “If auto dealers make advertising claims in headlines, they can’t take them away in fine print. These actions show there is a financial cost for violating FTC orders.”