In the Wow category, VW has taken its $345 million creative business away from Arnold, the car makers agency for ten years, and handed it to golden boy agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. In a statement, VW EVP Len Hunt said, "Volkswagen needs to take bold steps to turn this business around in the U.S. and Canada. "We're reviewing all aspects of our operations, and with the addition of CP+B on our team we'll now be equipped to maximize our marketing efforts. U.S. and Canadian consumers have always had a special relationship with this brand and today they want more from it—more interesting products which we now have and more captivating communications which CP+B will help develop."
A weblog, called Displaced Designers, has been launched to aid creative industry individuals in the New Orleans area who have been displaced by hurricane Katrine and are in need of assistance. The blog appeals to those individuals and companies that can provide office space, living space, computers, other business resources and jobs to those who have been affected by Katrina. A valiant effort, indeed.
As part of her sentence for screwing with Ogilvy billing, Shona Seifert, like a school kid writing "I will not snap Sally's bra strap in class" 100 times on the chalk board, has written a code of ethics for the ad industry which is available for download here. Enjoy.
In an effort to passify those who think men are portrayed in advertising as over sexed, neanderthal morons, JWT has announced it will cease characterizing men as boob-fixated, humping jack rabbits. The change in policy follows the release of a book by one of the agency's vice presidents, Marian Salman, who says men have been mocked in advertising for far too long. While true when it comes to illustrating men as clueless buffoons as Verizon did recently, to strip away certain innate behaviors is questionable. Perhaps it's all payback for, until recently, portraying women as clueless, man-serving kitchen maids.
Salman says, "All too often in the marketing arena, we're portraying man as the victim - of his sexual organ or his lust, his emotional neediness, his overinflated ego or his sheer ineptitude." OK, true. That could be toned down a bit but do we want to re-engineer man to appear as if he's become some sexless, robotic, new age, virtue-spewing automaton?
By now, everyone has heard of weblogs. If you haven't, welcome, you are reading one right now. If you think you've read this before, you have. In the interest of espousing the value of weblogs to our industry, we're republishing this little piece of opinionated advice. For various reasons, many people and companies can benefit from blogging. So can ad agencies. Ad agencies are hired for two main reasons. First, and not always most important, is creative. Second is thought leadership - does the agency in question have the smarts to create successful advertising for client companies. Both of these areas of expertise can be shared with the world of potential clients through a weblog.
Right now, agencies might be saying, "What do we need a weblog for? We already have a web site." Great. Take an honest look at it. Is it much more than a creative showcases (if that) and management bios? Aside from a few short paragraphs on your so-called "proprietary process" is there any value there for the reader? Are you offering anything that gives insight into the way your agency thinks and what your opinion is on the current state of advertising? If so, great. Most likely. though it is not.
Sears is moving its account from one WPP Group company to another, After 43 years handling the account, Ogilvy & Mather will relinquish the account to sister agency Young & Rubicam, which has worked on portions of the account since 1993. In a twist that questions the point of the review in the first place given today's agency conglomerates, O % M employees who will be left behind after the October 1 hand off, may end up moving to Y & R to handle the account.
If you've ever wondered how many still images could be placed, rapid fire, dueling banjo-style in a video, this video which promoted an August 5 "Rooftop Ruckus" party for Portland agency Borders Perrin Norrander will answer your question. Collecting every hillbilly, backwater, appalacian, deliverance-style image known to man, BPN has stitched together a cliche of hick-like, jerkwater imagery sure to amuse.
If you thought advertising was an ugly business, New York magazine's The Most Beautiful New Yorkers may change your outlook a bit with its selection of 24-year-old Merkely + Partners Creative Department Coordinator Tatiana Moses as one of New York's most beautiful specimens...uh...people. Ad Freak reports she and her boyfriend were approached by a photographer who wanted her boyfriend's picture but she asked that her picture be taken as well just for fun. Oddly, she was chosen for the list and her boyfriend was not.
It's all good for agency publicity though. We're quite sure she'll grab more attention than these Merkely + Partner management guys.
Joe Jaffe, upon seeing BMW's RFP letter to agencies, offers the manufacturer some advice. His advice comes in the form several bullet points along with a bit of self promotion for his new book which we really, really want to read but the post office, apparently, can't seem to find us. One of Jaffe's suggestions. While we haven't seen BMW's letter ourselves, Jaffe feels BMW is being "delusional, greedy, unrealistic or all three. You want an 'agency' to reach a 'broader, more diverse audience' on roughly half of last year's budget; you're looking for a shop that can create integrated marketing aimed at a niche audience; you feel the need to turn $1 into $5 and state that 'if you don't have a track record of creating stuff like this, this is probably the wrong opportunity for your agency' - come on, why stop there: if it were me running this pitch, I'd demand that the 'shop' come up with a 3-step program to cure both cancer and AIDS, and while we're at it, let's throw in ending poverty in Africa, which seems to be all the rage right now. Aim high my friends, aim high." Point taken but on the flip side, why aim low?
A little bird tells us the Ask Jeeves account, which is up for review, is now down to two agencies. There were originally six agencies involved in the pitch. Two of the four agencies which have been eliminated are Butler Shine and Mullen. The two remaining agencies are Hanft Raboy & Partners and incumbent TBWA Chiat Day. A final decision is expected within two weeks.