Will Agencies Prankvertise Mike Mixson's Selfie Ad Into Flash Mob Oblivion?

Dear Madison Avenue. Perhaps you're familiar with the whole “prankvertising” thing. You know, scare the crap out of people to sell stuff. Sony did it with a crazed witch in a coffee to promote its movie, “Carrie.” Benjamin Moore did it to promote a new line of paint. A college in Vancouver did it to recruit students. It's all the rage, really. But like everything else akin to this (think, flash mobs), you agency folk can't help but lather yourselves up into a frenzy and jump on the bandwagon with your own version of the latest fad. And before you know it, the public is yawning and yearning for your next trendlet-stealing homage. Because you've ruined a good thing by running it into the ground. Now perhaps you've heard of Mike Mixson, the golf shop owner who whipped out his camera phone to shoot a selfie commercial in which he screams over and over again, "We buy golf clubs!" If not, Google it. And then repeat after me, "I will not make professionally-produced selfie commercials. I will not make professionally produced selfie commercials. I will not make professionally produced selfie commercials." OK, we good?

So remember that South African ad agency MetropolitanRepublic that submitted MTN Project Uganda work to the country's Loerie Awards and won a Grand Prix for work that never ran? Well they’re in the news again . And this time it appears they haven't done anything wrong. In fact, they've done something great. OK, maybe not so great because agencies win new business all the time but Metropolitan Republic needed a break and they got one in winning the Nando's fast food chicken account previously handled by Black River FC. In awarding the account to the agency, Nando's CMO Mike Cathie said, "MetropolitanRepublic’s presentation was extraordinary. It was a unanimous decision that the agency understood the strategic challenges much better than anyone else." Back in the saddle.

Now here's something that will affect everyone on the proverbial Madison Avenue. Writing in Advertising Age, AAAA's President Nancy Hill, in reaction to a congressional provision that could change the advertising costs tax deduction, spells out why the move would be a bad one. She cites potential reductions in ad spend which could adversely affect employment, harm the free press and reduce the amount of free ad-supported entertainment currently available to the public. The move would certainly increase taxes for businesses but would it really cause brands to allocate less money to their advertising budgets?

Running a holding company is a bit like being a porn star in the sense that the notion of "bigger is better" is a way of life. Maurice Levy and John Wren know this well and both men, it seems, can't get big enough. Mr. Levy, in the throes of merger-hood with Mr. Wren, is after even more girth with a bid to take a majority stake in London-based Walker Media. The media shop, which is 75% owned by M&C Saatchi and said to be worth $75 million, was founded in 1998 and works with Sony, Marks & Spencer, KFC, Taco Bell, Fox, and National Geographic Channel.

Is it any wonder an agency named Blow has met an untimely demise? I don't think so, so it is without surprise that Australian agency, Blow (which recently rebranded to Lead Generation Lab) has vacated its offices and phones have been disconnected. In addition, the agency is said to owe tens of thousands to Ignite Media Brands and more to other suppliers. The agency began as a production company known as Templar Media and was founded by Anton Abraham and Jeff Purser.



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