While no one's really saying much, doesn't it seem a bit strange that Hill Holliday Chairman Mike Sheehan, who took the role in May after serving as CEO for ten years and promised to stick with the role for at least two years, has exited the agency suddenly? Of course the agency, via IPG CEO and Chairman Michael Roth, is only issuing the usual blather, saying: "We thank Mike for his contributions and wish him well in this new phase of his life and career." Is it because he butted heads with Karen Kaplan, who took over as CEO when Sheehan shifted to chairman? Unlikely, as both have been with the agency for 30 years and a 30-year spat seems unlikely. Could it be because Sheehan recently took on an ad sales advisory role with the Boston Globe which could lead to several conflicts with agency clients? Possibly. Might it be because Sheehan just became a member of the Board of Directors for ad tech company ChoiceStream, a Hill Holliday vendor? Perhaps. Or could it simply be that he's been at the agency for 30 years and wants a change? Probably.
We love it when ad agencies reach out and help the community. One such agency is Nashville-based redpepper which recently launched Hyped on Help for a campaign for Nashville's Hands on Nashville. It was conceived, written and developed in under 24 hours, part of the agency's participation in CreateAthon. CreateAthon's goal is to get area organizations to provide pro bono services to local non-profits. The campaign's goal is to get digitally savvy teens to volunteer for local organizations. Of the effort, redpepper Founder and ECD Tim McMullen said: "We accepted the challenge to take an established volunteer resource and market it to teenagers -- no small feat. Everything about the campaign -- the blog, the design, the user experience, the attitude -- it was all made to fit into a teen's world. Bringing utility to a non-profit like HON is the kind of work we can truly be proud of.”
So why did Lowe & Partners buy digital agency Profero? Well right from the mouth of Results International Senior Partner Andy Collins, who oversaw the deal: "Profero is an obvious target for any buyer looking to build its global digital capabilities. It has extensive multi-region capabilities, including key markets such as the U.S. and Asia. It was one of the first Western digital players to enter the Chinese market and the agency's senior management has demonstrated huge commitment to growing its business in Asia. It is highly respected for its growth -- particularly impressive when you consider most of it is organic -- and for the quality of its management team and the ‘Profero way’ of thinking." And of the deals' scale, "With so many M&A deals in marcoms these days being about a larger buyer acquiring a niche business, it's still vital for the networks to be able to seize whole new markets and technologies with a single, large-scale acquisition."