Sadly, Ad Industry Still Gloating Over Carat layoff Email

Anyone who thinks the wording of the erroneously sent Carat documents about impending layoffs was, in any way, different from other agencies' documents on the same topic is an idiot. It's always about saving face. It's always about making the agency look good in front of the client. It's all about positioning to protect the business. There isn't an agency out there that hasn't thought of or written the same thing Carat did in those documents.

But here's the thing. The words in any agencies' documents are almost always set aside when two human beings - the one doing the firing an the firee - sit down face to face in the same room to address the dirty reality of layoffs. They are inevitable and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Worst



Amalgamated Defends Honour, Sexy (Sexist?) Palin Buttons, B of A Tries Gettin' Down with Co-Eds

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- Amalgamated clears air over "Virtual Drinking Buddy" rip. In addition to starting a dialogue with Robbie Wenger, Amalgamated founder Charles Rosen told Adrants, "in no way are we above stealing ideas around here - but it wasn't the case this time. we really didn't know about robbie's virtual drinking buddy until he emailed us about it after our mike's spot ran." That's serious grace under pressure, and we were completely charmed.

- Smart way to promote sober driving.

- Tribal DDB scores Wrigley account, must now work out how to adhere gum to 'net users. Shouldn't be too hard. Just chew a little and avoid this kinda crap.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 5-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Packaging, Political



Microsoft SVP Clarifies Goals of Off-Putting Seinfeld Campaign

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In an internal letter obtained by TechCrunch, SVP Bill Veghte tries to explain WTF Microsoft was getting at with its Seinfeld campaign, which kicked off with this really weird ad.

Excerpt from Veghte's letter:


Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows - a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity. The first in this series [...] aims to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows.

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Bill Gates Divulges Microsoft's 'Moist, Chewy' Future ... to Seinfeld?

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In the first ad released by Crispin Porter+Bogusky for Microsoft, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld meet serendipitously at Shoe Circus, a Payless ShoeSource-type store. Seinfeld helps him pick out shoes. Made of pleather. Significant glances are exchanged, immigrants gawk, and churros are shared.

Thus ingratiated with one of the world's richest (and thriftiest?) men, Seinfeld poses the question we'd all ask, given the chance (and a serious case of munchies): "Are they ever gonna come up with something that'll make our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can eat 'em while we're working?"

Gates gives Seinfeld a subtle but sassy little ass-shake to denote "yes."

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Campaigns Need Long Legs, Not Annual Amputations

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Writing on AdPulp and in his TalentZoo column, Dan Goldeier makes, correctly, the argument most campaigns are no longer given the time they need to build momentum and to enter the psyche of the consumer long enough to mean anything. He asks the question, "are ad campaigns given enough time to work these days?"

The answer is a resounding no and that, shortsightedly, been the case for a very long time. No one wants to, or is afraid to, invest the long periods of time it takes for a campaign to truly build. Everyone in marketing is too fickle and they are more concerned with advancing their own careers than advancing the success of the brands on which they work.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 4-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Opinion



Dear Carat Staff: Layoffs Are Coming. To Everyone Else: Be Nice

These things happen. Everyone's done it. It's just too easy what with all the mailing group features in Outlook that make it so simple to send email to entire groups of people with one click. That's apparently what Carat Chief People Officer (can we stop with these idiotic titles?) Rose Zory did today when she sent an email about upcoming layoffs intended for select senior management to the entire agency.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 3-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Amalgamated Rips 'Virtual Drinking Buddy' Off 'Wrath of Cannes' Winner

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You may remember Robbie Wenger. He won the grand prize at Wrath of Cannes -- yeah, that was him licking the statue -- for Virtual Drinking Buddy, a subsite he created for The Knot.

The theme behind Virtual Drinking Buddy was "never be alone again," and toward that end it provided a classy old boozehound that drinks at your side and occasionally even insults you -- just like a real friend.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 3-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television, Worst



Newsflash! Marketers Want Knowledgeable Agencies!

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Sapient, who, it seems, hasn't been in the news since the digital boom of 1999, is out with a sponsored study of chief marketing officers which resulted in the creation of a "top ten list for agencies of the future." At the risk of boring you with the details of a study that offers no new insight, here's the list:

1. Greater knowledge of the digital space. (Seriously? That's a stunner!)

2. More use of "pull interactions." (Oh yes they did. They created a new buzzword for social media)

3. Leverage virtual communities. (Apparently, none of the surveyed CMO lived through the Second Life debacle)

4. Agency executives using the technology they are recommending. (It would certainly be nice but, in most cases, it's never gonna happen. By definition, most senior management is disconnected from reality.)

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 2-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Research



Photographer Claims BBDO Athens Copied Work For Dexim Ad

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Old friend The Reverse Cowgirl points to yet another example of an ad agency's use of an artist's work without obtaining permission or providing credit. Writing on Constant Siege, Clayton Cubitt claims BBDO Athens created a direct rip off of photographer Jamie Nelson's work for an ad they did for Dexim. The photo used in the BBDO-created Dexim ad bears a striking resemblance to a photo Nelson took in 2006 and had published on the cover of July/August 2007 issue of Blink.

When contacted, Nelson provided Adrants with an armful of information supporting the notion BBDO Athens did, in fact, closely copy her work. BBDO Athens has been contacted but they have not yet responded. Likely BBDO Athens fully intended to mirror Nelson's work but somehow the permission process was mistakenly overlooked. I'll reserve final judgment until I've made contact with BBDO Athens to hear their side of the story.

UPDATE: We mis-reported (bad source information) the agency in question was BBDO Atlanta. It is actually BBDO Athens. Thanks to Atlanta-based Brent Terrazas for pointing out the error.

by Steve Hall    Aug-29-08    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Policy



Hot Blogger Calendar, 90210 Strip-Searched, Buffy Increases Church Abandonment

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- Because what the world needs now is a hot blogger calendar.

- The CW's decided to let advertisers see snippets of 90210's content after all. I guess this means the PTC will be throwing itself a self-congratulatory cocktail party.

- OMG, OMG, a Facebook movie? ...by the co-creator of West Wing? Does that mean there's a parity of significance between Mark Zuckerberg and the ruler of the free world?

- MySpace was the top display ad publisher in June; Microsoft the top display advertiser. Most of its ads were for Live Search.

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