Greg Gutfield, editor of Stuff Magazine, is stepping sideways to make room for Mike Hammer, current executive editor of Maxim, to step into the role. Gutfield's sideways move is into the newly created role of director of brand development. Gutfield has exhibited some behavior that was looked upon by his Dennis Publishing executives as somewhat less than professional. Read Gawker's snarky take on the move.
For all you brand believers out there, there is a new study that does not bode well for the importance of a logo in supporting a brand. Brand Keys, a New York consultancy, has released a study showing the importance placed on a logo as a contributor to brand loyalty has decreased for two years in a row. Two thirds now think logos are less important then they were 2-3 years ago.
"Nearly all logos are valuable as long as consumers think they are important and are worth paying for. The problem is that logos-as-brand-differentiators have decreased in the importance they play in the actual purchase process," said Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys. "It's not the 'bunker' mentality we observed after September 11. It's a genuine return to basic, solid, unadorned American values, and it's being reflected in the way consumers are reacting to the value of a logo generally, and to particular logos specifically. The weak economy just compounds things."
And for those of you out there that always thought building a brand was just a bunch of puffery used to get client to spend a lot of money, you now have a piece of research to back that up.
This is bad news. Mullen, who has had the Nextel account for seven years, has lost the account. The account has been in review for months with incumbent Mullen in the difficult position of trying to retain a client who has decided to have a review. Incumbents rarely win. Sad news personally too as Mullen is geographically very close to me and I know several people who work there.
The account represents about 15% of Mullen's billing and that is sure to have an effect on head count, a situation Mullen has been mostly lucky to avoid in these perilous economic times. Joe Grimaldi, Mullen's Chief Executive, hopes that over the next few months as the account transitions to a new shop, there will be some account wins to offset the loss of Nextel.
If it's any constellation to the New England region, Boston's Arnold is still in the running for the account. I'll keep my fingers crossed for them.
I wish Mullen all the best. Boston Globe article here.
McCann-Erickson has announced a new business group called Tag. The purpose of the new group is to develop strategies and advertising programs specifically for the 18-24 demo. The group will be headed by Interpublic's EVP Director of Account Management and SVP Group Creative Director Craig Markus.
Quarterly results released Wednesday show the magazine losing $4.5M in Q1 and revenue being down 15% from last year. And Stewart has no upbeat comments on the situation.
"During our last earnings teleconference this past March, I expressed that I was increasingly hopeful that my personal legal situation regarding the ongoing governmental investigation of my sale of noncompany stock would be resolved in the near future," she said Wednesday. "Obviously that has not happened and I can make no predictions as to when it will."
Ad pages are down. Revenue is down. How long before the title itself is down?