Oh scandal! No, wait. More like a tempest in a teacup. By now you've all seen the John Lewis Christmas ad which follows a bear experiencing his first Christmas, right? Several people took to social media to claim the brand's agency, Adam & Eve DDB copied the concept used in Hanna-Barbera's 1980 “Yogi's First Christmas.” They claim DDB stole various elements from “Yogi's First Christmas” such as the concept of a hibernating bear and the use of an alarm clock. There are certainly similarities between the two pieces of work but John Lewis denies the Yogi film had any influence on the work. Commenting on this situation and many other similar unintentional homages, ad veteran Philip Hesketh said, "Any creative person will be exposed to a range of influences in their lifetime, going back to childhood. Often these influences are stored in the subconscious brain, and you can’t unlearn what you’ve already learnt." A John Lewis spokesman said DDB's creative team was unaware of “Yogi's First Christmas.” Which is probably true because, as we all know, there are scant few creatives in this business over the age of 33.
Fishbat, an agency whose name sounds like they are a bunch of thugs with bats out to kill fish like those who club baby seals, has...wait for it..."launched an array of effective and
integrated online reputation management services that deliver targeted solutions to protect and uphold its clientele’s online stature." An "array," mind you. That's like a "solution" on
steroids. Describing the offering, Fishbat VP of Client Services Justin Maas unleashed a mouthful, saying, “The long reach and instant communication that the Internet grants means
reputations can be compromised in the shortest possible timeline with a capacity to inflict long-term damage to a client’s image. We preserve the positive stature of our clients by maintaining
an impeccable online disposition through customizable SEO campaigns and linking strategies. As a leading Long Island advertising agency, Fishbat makes thorough use of our formidable resources when
combating a slanderous attack.” Thorough use of its formidable resources! Watch out, internet brand trolls. Your days may be numbered!
This week, the award for the most ridiculous press release goes to Flushing, New York-based SIX22 which...wait for it...sent out a press release to let us all know that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day this year. Why? We have no idea. The release blathers on about how Thanksgiving was established (as if we all don't know) and how its concurrence with Hanukkah is a "once in a lifetime holiday experience." All well and good but what the hell does this have to do with an ad agency? Nothing. Except it was an excuse for the agency to make a desperate play at gaining some publicity. I especially love how the press release abruptly switches gears from one of holiday celebration to blunt promotion touting SIX22's "leading team of marketers" who "work around the clock" with "a strong focus on referral generation, business development and reimbursement maximization." Barf. And yes, I fully understand I just fell for their trick and gave them publicity. But the idiocy of the release outweighed the fact it deserves no publicity.
Martin Sorrell says the next big thing in advertising will come from China and not, as he says people tritely say, from mobile or data. He noted advertising would become a constant of international GDP versus previous statements in which he argued advertising expenditures would rise over time as a proportion of GDP. He added, “Given that assumption for 2014, advertising and marketing services spending should rise next year by between 4% and 4.5%. And given our preliminary look at our budgets, which tend to be conservative, we certainly will budget like-for-like growth of more than 3%, compared with 3p% in 2013. The Sochi Winter Olympics, the football World Cup in Brazil and US mid-term congressional elections will help, too.” Of his excitement over China, Sorrell said, “Look at Xiaomi – the highly innovative mobile firm giving Apple a run for its money. Or wait for Ali Baba or Tencent or Baidu to launch their financial transactions platforms to compete with established state banks. A lot of the technology-driven change may well come from China, particularly as others follow Hugo Barra from Android to Xiaomi and co.”
As if having invented something new, Mike Wilson, recently appointed ad head of the newly formed Havas Media Group in Sydney, is bringing media and creative under one P&L. By Jesus, hold the presses! Integration? Now that's a new one! Media and creative working side by side with one common goal? Intertwined agency folk working together as if on the same team? One point of contact for a client's needs? Wow. That's never been done before.