Results for January 2012
  • Agency of the Year: MPG
    Not long ago, I had the opportunity to sit in on a secret, high-level meeting of some big agency and TV network executives in the basement of Donovan Data Systems, the company that processes much of Madison Avenue's media buys. And as I sat there listening, fly-on-the-wall style, to these important industry stakeholders discussing how they hoped to reshape some key aspects of the TV advertising business, I could almost hear the whirring through the walls where Donovan's computers were housed, processing billions of dollars of media buys. The meeting was completely unofficial, and technically didn't even have a host. ...
  • Cause: Cone Communications
    Anyone who has ever tried to count the number of pink-ribbon products out there knows what Cone Communications is up against. But since the agency's founding in 1980, it has sought to pair brands with relevant causes that won't fade away into the pink jungle or grate on consumers' ears. Instead they aim to create a bond between people and products, and with their work for major brands like Yoplait's "Save Lids to Save Lives," Betty Crocker's "Stirring Up Wishes" and Timberland's "Earthkeepers Plant a Tree," Cone is ensuring consumer relationships impact bottom lines. Craig Bida, Cone's executive vice president ...
  • Creative: Starcom USA
    Starcom USA has historically been the media agency other American media agencies want to be. There's that famous Midwestern buttoned-downess. That constant success in reviews. The deep and talented bench that makes management succession seem almost effortless. The industry leadership. The ongoing awards and honors. Its campaigns are always state-of-the-industry, its metrics always a step ahead. But none of those elements are the shop's secret sauce. The real difference maker is that Starcom USA has, if you will, a creative impulse. The Publicis unit brings a unique drive to the media space, a restless urge to innovate, to explore, to ...
  • Editor's Letter: Hail to the Biggest Thinkers
    This is the part where I'm supposed to explain the rationale behind these awards, what our criteria are, and why we picked the people and organizations being recognized here as best-in-class as MEDIA's annual agencies and agents of the year. And even though I've written this many times before, I know it bears repeating, because our approach is so different than others who do awards like these. So let me dispense with the criteria first. These awards recognize the agencies and agents - including clients, suppliers and individuals - who best demonstrated three things to us over the past 12 ...
  • Executive: Nigel Morris
    To thank him for speaking at our 2010 Outfront Conference, we threw a small, private dinner for Al Gore and some of our industry's top executives. I can't tell you exactly what we discussed, or who said what, because it was off the record, but I can tell you that the conversation went well beyond advertising and media, and included some of the greatest issues we face - not just as business people, but as people on this planet. During the meal, Gore sat next to Nigel Morris, and when he wasn't speaking to the table at large, spent most ...
  • Full Service: Hill Holliday
    When it comes to integrating full-service offerings with media, Hill Holliday is way out in front. And for one very good reason: "It became fashionable 10 or 12 years ago to take media out, spin it out and run it separately," says CEO Mike Sheehan. "But we never took the bait." In fact, removing media from the equation was antithetical to Boston-based Hill Holliday's core beliefs far earlier than a decade ago. "We never even considered not having media be part of the agency," Sheehan says. And in the past few years, that decision has looked smarter and smarter, as ...
  • Holding Company: GroupM
    MEDIA has selected WPP's GroupM as its Holding Company of the Year, and it's not for its size (although it is immense and oversees several global agency networks and specialist agencies). This year, GroupM gets the honor for its efforts addressing several issues of critical importance to the advertising and marketing industries, including both online privacy and piracy. In addition the company continued to invest in addressable TV technologies, which enable marketers to target individual households with more relevant ads. (Think diaper advertising for new parents, or kitty litter for pet owners.) Such techniques - and their successful implementation - ...
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