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.
Apparently believing employees aren't intelligent to find their own industry news sources and laughably calling it "first of its kind," JWT has partnered with Nielsen to create JWT NewsWatch, a customizable "information portal" which will pull news from 40 sites including AdWeek, BrandWeek, MediaWeek, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. Obviously they haven't heard of the countless other news aggregation services (NewsPage, anyone?) that have been around since the birth of the Internet or RSS readers which are free and are comfortable paying InfoDesk what is likely to be a hefty fee for creating/managing this service.
It's been a while and, unfortunately, it's a bit too late but here's some Leo Burnett-created spots for Chocolate Dipped Altoids we actually like. As the agency bids adieu to the client which is heading to the sunny San Francisco offices of Hal Riney, Leo Burnett can be pleased it created some decent work while in lame duck status. These four spots, produced by Biscuit, create four scenarios in which the intrigue displayed by the onlookers isn't due to what would normally cause intrigue. Each spot has a nice twist and holds attention long enough for the payoff. Don't worry, Leo Burnett. Be happy. Maybe Hall Riney will screw it up and the chocolate dipped weirdos will come running back to you. See all the ads here.
As a marketer, what do you do when your brand icon has been known the world over for 35 years? You open an agency review and change it of course. It's the natural way of things, of course. While we never thought of Singapore Airline's Singapore Girl as any sort of sexist symbol, some feel her time has come and she should step down as the last of many female flight attendants who have been featured by various airlines over the years. While airline officials say the Singapore Girl may remain part of the brand in some form, Singapore Airlines VP of Public Affairs says, "What has worked well in the past is not always an indication of what will work well in the future It would be a mistake to cling to the past as a measure of success for the future. We want to explore the creative market; see what others have to offer." While true, we're hoping the airline, which continually ranks high for service and experience, doesn't become just another American Airlines cattle car.
Likening an agency/client relationship to a marriage contract but acknowledging things or permanence can sometimes be droll, boring and, well, just not that much fun, project agency Tattoo Projects in encouraging brands to stray. Just a little. To have a fling, some fun, some action to spice up your life. In fact, Tattoo Projects' approach - providing that pent up and much needed occasional release - might actually curtail the wildly increasing divorce rate between clients and agencies.
So don't make a big move that will ruin your life and cause you to say fuck off to your client or agency. No. Just have an affair. Stray a little bit. Cheat, if you will. According to Tattoo Projects, it's a very healthy thing.