It's not a KSL-style closing but it appears financial problems led to the closure of 86-year-old New York-based Lipman last Thursday. Agency Chairman David Lipman broke the news to staff in an agency-wide meeting Thursday afternoon. Sources are saying financial problems at the agency's parent company, Revolate, led to the closure. Revolate is run by former Goldman Sachs executive Andrew Spellman who, along with Lipman, has been named in a lawsuit filed by photography firm JulyEight which is seeking $68,796 in unpaid fees. The New York Post reports Kate Moss and fashion photographer Mario Testino have also been stiffed by the agency. Is it really that hard to balance a check book?
Speaking of KSL. Well, not really. But in a bit of oddly-timed acronym coincidences, KLS Media -- that's KLS Media, not KSL -- announced last week that the agency, based in Houston, has accepted a buyout bid from a Texas-based private equity firm. No one's disclosing any details but rumblings indicate the sale is valued between $50-$90 million. After the sale, agency owner, Daniel Spence will stay on as chairman of the board until 2014. Of the sale, KLS Media CFO said, "KLS experienced enormous organic growth under the leadership of Mr. Spence. KLS has become a leader in innovative marketing strategy for some of the world's leading oil and gas companies and we continue to set the industry standard. We are over the moon excited about this sale and we feel humbled to have found such a strong partner in our buyer. The stars aligned to make this a great deal for everyone involved and we could not be happier." Sounds like KLS did a lot better than KSL.
UPDATE 2/16/15: A source informs us, ultimately, this buyout never took place. Recent calls to KSL Media CEO Daniel Spence have
gone unanswered. The previously functioning KSL Media site is, at this time, no longer active.
In yet another Adland turf war which always reminds us of two four-year-olds throwing sand at each other in a fit of playschool rage, Lewis Lazar tells us the sand is flying fast and furiously between Illinois Lottery private manager Northstar Lottery Group and Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones. The Northstar Lottery Group has instructed the Lottery's two agencies, Downtown Partners and Commonground, to work only with Northstar staff and to discontinue working with Jones. According to Lazar, the relationship between Northstar and Jones has been a bit of a pissing contest with each side continuously attempting to assert their control over the Lottery's advertising plans. While Jones insists he has been charged with developing a new look and feel for the Lottery, it seems Northstar wants him out of the picture.
Dentsu said Friday it has acquired a 51% equity stake in Spanish ad agency Ymedia SL through its Aegis Media Iberia unit. Aegis Media Iberia, which is under the wing of London-based Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd., also bought a stake of 31.8% in Wink TTD SL, a digital marketing arm of Ymedia. The deals made the Dentsu group the second-biggest player in Spain’s ad market. Both Ymedia and Wink are scheduled to become fully owned units of Aegis Media Iberia by 2019.
Deutsch New York has hired Kerry Keenan as Chief Creative Officer. Keenan comes to Deutsch from branded content firm Half Irish which she co-founded along with producer Nathy Aviram. Previously, she was global executive creative director at Y&R and ECD and Head of TV at Saatchi & Saatchi where she oversaw JCPenney. Keenan takes over for previous CCO Greg DiNoto who, it seems, has been unceremoniously dismissed. Of his exit, Deutsch New York CEO Val DiFebo said, “Greg has been a great contributor in both tours of duty at Deutsch and we fully support and wish him great success in his next chapter.” Gotta love that "next chapter" phraseology.
Starcom, a blast from our own past, has hired Eva Powell as head of strategy and Sabino Petrucelli as head of performance marketing. Wait, what? Performance marketing? Isn't all marketing supposed to perform? Hmm, maybe it's just us but we thought the whole idea of marketing was to, you know, get results. Now we have a job position solely dedicated to marketing that performs? Does that now mean everyone else doesn't have to care about performance?