Saatchi CEO Gets 'Promoted' to Director of New Business

You have to wonder what's going on inside an agency when those in positions of power decide to shift the CEO of one of the agency's main offices to the role of new business director. That's what's happening over at Saatchi & Saatchi, where New York CEO, Durk Barnhill, who's held the position of CEO for a year, is moving into a new business position with the agency's global transformation team.

Okay, yeah, it's a step up in the sense that he's going from New York to Global but still. CEO to new business? And, yeah, there are similarities to those positions but, to us, it sounds like a step down. And it's when Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts says of Barnhill's replacement, Brent Smart, “Brent has a record as an outstanding agency leader, a strategic and eloquent contributor in our boardroom, and a fearless producer of work that is equally creative and commercial.” We wish you well, Durk.

It takes some guts to go up against the established norms in the online advertising world. Like working with ad networks that source their inventory from exchanges, a standard method of buying online ads these days. But one man, Underscore Marketing CEO Tom Hespos thinks working with exchanges is redundant, imprecise and fiscally irresponsible. Among his many pointed arguments, he asserts that "In a situation where a third party is bidding for you on the exchanges to meet a specific goal, the bidder will encounter impressions that, if bought, make a higher margin for the bidder.  It will also encounter impressions that are more efficient at achieving the advertiser’s campaign goal.  When those two bidding goals are at odds, which do you think is going to win in the end?  The advertiser’s objective or the bidder’s profit motive?  Exactly."  So, Madison Avenue, are you really doing your best for your client when you use an ad exchange?

And, yes, native advertising is just as messy today as it was when it reared its head sometime last year. In an effort to make sense of it all, Forbes' Lewis DVorkin spent five days in Europe last week chatting with 14 ad agencies and public relations firms in London, Dublin and Amsterdam. What did he find? Lots of angst. Media buyers want to force the "squishy" nature of native advertising into a mathematically sound spread sheet, agencies can't stand the lack of control they have with native advertising's process which involves trusting...heaven forfend...uppity journalists to tell their stories and the unholy alliances agencies must make with media outlets to pass off their native advertising as organic content. Please, stop, the brilliance of the transparent authenticity is blinding me!

And for today's ADSR (Agencies Desperately Seeking Recognition), we have Minneapolis-based Space150 which told Twin Cities Business that the agency was,,,wait for it,,,the 342nd recipient of Google Glass. Yup, the 342nd! Can you believe it? I can feel the innovation pulsating through that shop. Bleeding edge baby, bleeding edge!



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