Why Being An Agency CMO Is Like Being The Maytag Repairman

Take it from Mediapsssst, there is no title higher in Madison Avenue’s food chain than CMO -- unless it’s on the agency side. Then, you’re just the loneliest guy in town, trying to get attention for an organization that spends its time trying to get attention for its paying customers. You know, it’s not like you control any real marketing budget, are going to hold a “review,” or be courted and treated deferentially by the trade press. That being the case, we were tickled to see not one, but two agencies announce top marketing roles Monday, and we consider that a good day for a dog day. First Interpublic’s R/GA announced that Daniel DIez had joined as global CMO, and then Publicis’ Rosetta named Gary Schechner a partner and head of marketing. Of the two appointments, at least Schechner has some real-world brand marketing experience. And, oh what a brand. He joins Rosetta from, you guessed it, BP, where he headed all advertising, marketing and social media for its “ampm” brand of North American convenience stores. Before that, he was a marketing consultant for rival Chevron/Texaco, where he managed creative and media for the Texaco Havoline and Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus consumer brands.



While R/GA’s Diez has no hands-on brand marketing experience, he was senior director for global marketing and communications at a company that advises lots of brands, Omnicom’s Interbrand. And while he wasn’t client-side, he played a role “refreshing” the consltancy’s reports, including deals to promote them with the New York Times, CNBC and the New York Stock Exchange.

Before Interbrand, Diez was a public relations manager at Interpublic’s Jack Morton Worldwide unit.

“Daniel has a fresh take on how to effectively communicate our vision to expand client relationships,” stated R/GA Founder, Chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg, who’s a guy who knows something about CMOs.

Martin Sorrell Has Met His Waterloo

Turns out, it’s in Iowa, not Belgium. While the big agency holding companies vie for global dominance -- and industry stature -- the next big play may not be on Madison Avenue at all, but on West Fourth Street. No, not the one in New York’s Greenwich Village that Bob Dylan sang so positively about, but in Waterloo, IA, home to 47-year-old Midwest shop Hellman, whose founder, Bob Hellman, is pulling a big agency-like move, stepping down and turning the agency over to “co-presidents:”   long-time employees Tony Luetkehans and David McNurlen. It seems like convoluted org structures and over-inflated egos are not the sole province of New York, Paris or London.

The State Of Media: At Least One Shop Thinks It's More Analogue Than You May Think

At a time when the biggest media shops seem to have drunk the digital Kool-Aid, spunky Chicago independent Kelly Scott Madison is all about analogue, To prove it, the agency’s latest report on the future of media is being published old school -- with ink on paper. In fact, KSM calls the 86-page “State of Media” report a “magazine,” and that’s not the only analogue thing about it. So are it’s top findings.

One, dubbed “myth busting,” debunks the “death of traditional TV, noting, “while ‘Zero TV’ households (U.S. consumers who have no access to traditional television aside from antenna-received broadcast channels), are growing, they still represent less than five percent (approximately 5 million) of total U.S. households with television.

Instead of “cord-cutting,” the KSM report says Americans are “cord-thinning,” or canceling some pay TV channels distributed via conventional cable or satellite TV.

"Those that claim traditional TV is obsolete are simply wrong,” asserts KSM Vice President-Group Media Director Elizabeth Kalmbach, noting, “While streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu and even Aereo supply attractive cable add-ons or alternatives for some, the reality is we still need to see big growth in online properties before their audiences can ever replace those of traditional TV."
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