Once upon a time, there was a little town called Boston that wasn't so little when it came to advertising. Then the agency M & A spree began and, combined with the mass exodus of national brands, agency after agency skipped town or shuttered their doors forever. For years, the town has lived in the shadow of New York but that may be about to change.
Today, Cadillac awarded close to half its national and regional creative business to Modernista, a very cool agency in Boston that, aside from work they've done for Hummer, many may never have heard of before. This, of course, is no watershed moment nor will there be a flood of national brands flooding Boston's Boylston Street (a misnomer. really since most agencies have found homes elsewhere in the city) but to see Modernista kick some Leo Burnett butt surely pleases the underdog agencies around the country.
A tipster tells us Bill Westbrook, who just rejoined Fallon as Vice Chairman does the voiceover work for Wachovia's TV ads. A side job like that is all well and good except, perhaps, when a client at the agency Westbrook just joined is a competitor of Wachovia. Yes, Fallon handles Citibank. As thew tipsters says, it "should make for an interesting first meeting with Citibank."
Just one letter away from becoming the ad industry's most hilarious brand management hire, Megan Stooke has been chosen to handle Hummer's marketing. Stooke replaces Liz Vanzura and will work with Hummer agency Modernista in Boston. Hopefully, there won't be too many jokes circulating around the uber-cool, hardwood floored warehouse offices of the agency when Stroke...uh...Stook shows up to massage the agency's Hummer work.
Perhaps anticipating the needs to distance itself from its own $32 million tax mistake, tax preparation firm H & R Block, according to AdWeek, will this week brief five agencies on its $100 million account. In the loop will be Deutsch/LA, Arnold, DDB/Chicago, Campbell Mithun and Mullen. Currently, most H & R Block work is handled by Campbell Mithun. Played properly, there's a great inside joke to be leveraged in future campaigns.
Because we've seen these images at least 3,000 times on Flickr in the last two days along with many people having sent them to us, we figure, hell, there must be something to them. While we're inclined to pass them off as a typical, ego-driven agency self-promotional effort, they are getting notice so there must be something good about these boards placed outside the offices of Brown Communications Group based out of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Brown describes its Light Switch board by saying, "Every corner of our building is supercharged with high energy strategy, advertising, interactive and public relations professionals. Stop by. Our lights are always on." Hasn't some wise-ass, eager to have a bit of fun, tried to turn off that light switch yet? Or try to plug something into the Wall Plug version of the board? Come on people. Get inventive.
We've enjoyed all manner of holding company/held company corporate bitching from the inside and always reveled in its idiocy, ego-powered chest beating and pointless one upmanship so it it with glee we see an IPG bitch fight sprawled across the pages of Ad Age. Follow along. IPG owned Howard Merrell & Partners won the North Carolina Lottery account. HM&P resigned the account within one week because, according to HM&P, IPG wouldn't put up a required $1 million bond to insure vendor payment. The Lottery issued a press release announcing its account would be handled by independent Wray Laseter but made no mention of HM&P. HM&P issued a release that read, in part, "has issues meeting the bond requirements for HM&P. IPG could not resolve the issues in a timely fashion. As a result, IPG advised HM&P to withdraw from consideration. And, we have. The entire staff at HM&P is extremely disappointed. We put a lot of time an effort into the bidding process, and we were looking forward to working with the [lottery]."
Today, Publicis Groupe announced the formation and launch of Denuo, a "strategic initiative designed to anticipate and exploit the rapidly changing digital, interactive and mobile communication environment." Denuo will be a separate company and "but is not based on any pre-existing industry model." The company will focus on strategic consulting; ventures and partnerships and the usual execution of work. The group will be headed by long time Publicis Media Groupe guru Rishad Tobaccowala, Publicis Groupe Media Chairman Jack Klues and 15 others culled mostly from withing other Publicis Groupe companies including Beyond Interactive's Nick Pahade, Play's Tim Harris and PJ MacGregor, Digits Founder Courtney Jane Acuff, and Reverb's Dan Buczaczwer among others.
If this were coming from anyone other than Starcom/MediaVest/Leo Burnett/Publicis, we'd pass it off as industry puffery. But, time after time, this group has proved to innovate on a large scale and perhaps this is the first stab at exactly what the future ad agency will look like.
Steve Dworon, who worked with Donny Deutsch at Deutsch/Dworin from 1991 to 1994, is suing Donnie Deutsch for defamation and a breach of an agreement the two had that barred each from being nasty to each other for the rest of their live's. It seems Donnie said some unkind things about Steve in his new book, Often Wrong, Never in Doubt. The battle, which began in the pages of Page Six last week, has all the making of a crappy TV movie: office infighting, name calling, publicity whoring, crying...yes, crying, and promised revelations as to why Dworin really left Deutsch back in 1994. Hmm. We're not going to postulate lest we suffer tha wrath of defamation suites ourselves but we're happy to let you all speculate wildly in comments as to what's really going on between the two.
For those of you from the cassette tape days, you might find this Valentine's Day card from Exopolis a little bit of fun. Back in the day, kids placed their cassette tape recorders next to their clock radios to record their favorite songs while playing DJ making cheesy mix tapes for their friends. Exopolis has taken that practice digital providing a cassette tape juke box of sorts with classics like Hall & Oates' Kiss on my List and our fave, The Divynls' I Touch Myself.
Last week we told you about Hart + Larson's Ham + Lambert site which promised to show a woman named Andrea watching the Super Bowl and rating the ads. For those of us who only care about the commercials, have ADD and enjoy watching an attractive female rate Super Bowl ads, this is the video for you. Watch Andrea as she has settles in on the comfy sofa, has a beer and some snacks, paints her wall, does other weird stuff and gets up off the couch during ad breaks to rate each commercial with placards using a rating system including "Effective," "Entertaining," "A Waste of $2.5M" a score and commentary. She even does a Half Time show. But the best part is she does it while teasingly undressing and dressing. No, there's no nudity but if you want to watch the game in 14 minutes, DAMN, this is the way to do it.