We could get all snarky and snide and bring up that Subway video but we're not going to. We're going to wish Agency.com ECD Tom Ajello well as he leaves the agency following the mass exodus of many of the agency's executives. Tom, currently on paternity leave enjoying the birth of his first son, has decided, "It was sort of time. I feel like I've had an amazing run, building as awesome crew there and amassing what I believe is the industry's best creative department." He will leave the agency April 15 but has promised to stay on, if needed, to help transition in a new ECD.
Having a kid changes things. Hugely. We wish Tom well.
Oh please. Do we really need to know what Julie Roehm and alleged lover Sean Womack said to each other over email? Reading other people's email is never a good thing. Especially when it has to do with interpersonal relationships. It's like watching your parents have sex. Some things should never be shared.
Having to read Roehm gush things like, "I think about us together all the time. Litle moments like watching your face when you kiss me. I loved your voice mail last night and love the idea of memory and kept thinking/wishing that it would have been you and I there last night. So there's a little head action for you," is just not necessary. And it's especially not necessary to read Womack reply, "That was some good head action for me." Ew. Please. This stuff just belongs between two lovers. Not in court documents.
Shawn Waite points us to Gawker which received an internal office memo from Publicis letting staffers know New York Magazine would be in the agency snapping shots for its upcoming "Office Life" photo essay. the memo reads, in part, "Try not to pay attention to the crew...or play to the camera...unless you are asked to. As for dress code, that's up to you ...but remember, you (and that outfit) just might make it into the pages of a future New York Magazine!" Yes. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Continue in your hipsteresque ways but don't, under any circumstances show up wearing a Donny Deutsch Speedo. That would simply not properly reflect properly on the agency.
We mentioned this back in December but as the release date approaches and the real world ad industry continues to dish up hearty helpings of gossip, rumor, innuendo and foul play, we can't help but bring this up again. With all the juicy Sorrell/Roehm/Siefert dirt floating about our far from fine, upstanding industry, we can't really blame Hollywood for churning out movies that portray advertising executives as slimy, immoral scumbags with nothing better to do that take advantage of their power to belittle (and worse) others. No. And that's why we have movies like the upcoming Bruce Willis/Halle Berry flick Perfect Strangers.
In the movie, Bruce Willis is a high-powered ad exec who apparently kills (or not) a girl with whom he was having an online affair. Now Halle Berry, an investigative reporter, poses as an intern at Willis' agency to dig into Willis' wrong doings. Maybe Shannon Siefert should go to work for Martin Sorrell and pick up some client work headed by Julie Roehm. Now that would make a good movie.
Step aside Julie Roehm. The international big shots are taking the stage now with libel, money-laundering and love triangles. Big shot WPP Group's Martin Sorrell, in the midst of a libel suit in London's High Court against former WPP country manager Marco Benatti and Sorrell-founded FullSix CEO Marco Tinelli, has reportedly been having a relationship with WPP CEO Daniela Weber since late 2004. Prior to that, Weber was, apparently, having a relationship with Benatti. Now, Sorrell and Webber are suing Benatti for leaking "vicious" images of them to the Internet. Do we sense a bit of jealously here from Benatti? Or perhaps it's a bit of vengeance in reaction to Sorrell's firing of Benatti (and Tinelli) for the above mentioned apparent libel.
Adding to the drama is Sorrell's spectacular multi-million dollar divorce from his wife two years ago and his relationship with Weber being referred to, apparently by Benatti and Tinelli, as "the mad dwarf and the nympho schizo." Can it get any more delicious than this? Yes. Weber, 44 and referred to as "hot lover" on some blogs, has worked for Benatti since she was a student and by 2005, she had a director position and a 20 percent stake in Tinelli's FullSix. Apparently, over the 20 years Weber and Benatti worked together, Benatti was "frustrated with his position and his lack of power and authority." Again, jealous much?
It is said Benatti and Tinelli were behind the creation of the blog that circulated the "vicious" photo of Sorrell and Weber but involvement has been denied. The case, and its drama, continue today.
We're not sure the mid-90's style baggy, pleated pants the guy is wearing in this video are as intentionally spoofy as the rest of the site but that's besides the point. We're not talking about fashion here. We're talking about an agency that thinks viral marketing is fleeting and unproductive and has pioneered something much better: Disease Marketing. Yes. "Why settle for a harmless virus when you can get a full blown disease," says the trouser-wearing agency dude.
Minneapolis-based Kruskopf Coontz, calling itself "the face of disease," promises its disease marketing can lift brands to the level of emphysema: incurable and impossible to ignore. And that's not all. After introducing its "The New Viral" approach, Kruskopf whisks us away to its brand new website with an intro that brings together the finest, most complete collection of agency bullshit including B.S. Central (scroll all the way to the right), a video section of their site that gleefully tears apart the industry's obsession with awards, pointless philosophies, 25/8 dedication, its people, pontificating press releases, street cred, hipsterificness, base touching and the idiotic, self-important use of cell phones.
James Cash Penney. Isn't that an awesome founder name? It pulls 10 times the weight of humdrum John Rockefeller. There's miles of branding potential behind a name like that.
Unfortunately JC Penney's isn't known for taking advantage. As kids we considered Penney's a tier above Sears - if you're desperate or you wait too long you might find a good prom dress there, but you'll probably lie and say you got it on sale at Macy's.
To offset this sad effect, Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts enlists the lame duck brand for a Lovemarks repositioning. Watch the initial couple of ads and read the Garfield review at Advertising Age.
Seeking to position itself as a no-bullsh*t kind of agency, Truf does two things most agencies wouldn't: lets consumers know they exist, and shakes up the belief system we've worked so hard to make normal.
The results are provocative indeed. Their self-promoting Youtube campaign kicks off with Junkie and Flamer, both of which manipulate sights, sounds and timing to juxtapose taboos and norms. Is there really a rhyme or reason to which social habits get accepted and which don't? That's what the basis seems to be behind the masthead question, "Where Does the Truth Lie?"
We like Truf's manifesto and think agencies can only benefit from making themselves more personable to the culture, which grows increasingly more curious about what we're doing and who we are. Why not fuel the flames?
We also like the campaign for other reasons. When you think about it, it hasn't been too long since the first time we heard people were injecting botulism into their faces. WTF, mate? How did that become a slumber party activity?
Continuing what we started in New York on Nov 8, yesterday Adrants and BDI held the second Ad Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference in San Francisco, hosted by the Academy of Art in conjunction with BIG. Local and nationwide entities including Google, Modem Media, Draft FCB, Dieste and T3 (The Think Tank), showed up to trade paper with giddy be-suited candidates.
The set of pews and the wide church like set-up served as a good backdrop for what could be both parts keynote and sermon.
Larry Harris, EVP and Director of Integrated Marketing at DraftFCB, made a straightforward delivery on topics we expected to rise to the surface: the disparity of diversity in our industry, the changing face of marketing in the face of new media (iPods, internet, mobile phones, chip-reading billboards) and the importance of knowing what you want before leaping into the wild blue yonder. He also told an awesome story about how he infiltrated agency execs by pretending to be a message boy. "They let you right in!" he exclaimed.
- MTV has added a user-generated category to its Movie Awards.
-Nike is opening an agency review with its U.S. business, currently handled by Wieden + Kennedy, getting first look.
- After many years with JWT, Kraft's Miracle Whip is heading over to DDB.
Mark Cuban must be laughing his ass off now as Viacom, following unproductive settlement talks, sues Google and YouTube for $1 billion in damages.
- If your into the whole March Madness thing, Coke has a nice Brack-O-Matic site that makes picking teams easy.
- Nickelodeon UK has launched Musical March, a site where kids can create their own musical videos and upload them to the site. The best videos will air on Nick JR Video.