'Automated' Advertising Systems Another Threat to Agency Infrastructure

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More and more, the advertising business is becoming commoditized with services that make it ever easier for advertisers to circumvent the infrastructure that the industry has built over the last 100 years. Every year, another do-it-yourself service crops up offering companies tools to create their own advertising without the need for an agency. Certainly, these services will not replace ad agencies but they may take a dent out of their revenue stream.

Omnicom Group is hoping to stem any potential loss to this new ad-o-matic approach and launched their on such service through on of its agencies, Zimmerman, called Pick-n-Click which provides automotive advertisers 150,000 components to choose from when crafting an ad. car dealer franchise AutoNation has signed on and is using Pick-n-Click for its 331 car dealers.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-07    
Topic: Agencies, Tools, Trends and Culture



VW Drives Vegas, Krispy Kremes For VDay, Census Shunned

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- If you're in Vegas February 16 during he NBA All Star Weekend and want to hang with the likes of Lebron James, Baron Davis, Kenny Smith from TNT's Inside NBA and more and race against them in VW's 5 on 5 Drive Challenge, this event is for you.

- Because Valentine's day is all about sweets, Krispy Kreme is selling heart shaped donuts until Feb. 14. For each dozen purchased, people get 12 cards with a free donut coupon to give to friends. The chain is also sending box loads to celebrities during Fashion Week and to Clay Aiken for his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel next week.

- Agencies are dropping like flies from the $300 million Census pitch. McCann Erickson, Martin Agency, Mullen DDB, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather and Grey have decided not to pursue the account.

- Wall Street Journal Senior VP of Advertising Sales Judy Barry is leaving her position at the paper.

- Who knew? MySpace is making money for News Corp. And, it's the company's top money maker. eMarketer says MySpace is on track to make $525 million for Foc Interactive this year.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-07    
Topic: Agencies, Events, Promotions



Anti-Ad Agency Makes Ads Against Ads

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Appropriating ads and turning them into fuck-the-man messages is not actually anti-advertising. It's turning an ad into another (granted, irony-rich and possibly more sophisticated) ad.

While like Mortarblog we have serious doubts about the Anti-Advertising Agency's claim that "city dwellers see 5,000 ads per day," we agree that the world out there is oversaturated ad-wise. But in an ideal world, that raises the bar for us - not to become more ostentatious with our messages, but to make them more slow-moving and subtle. In an ideal world, anyway.

We dig what the Anti-Ad Agency's trying to do. It's important to ask questions about the presence of ads in our daily lives. But isn't that what this whole consumer-gen thing is all about? It's our strong suspicion that, short of finding a society bent on ridding themselves of ads, what they truly want are ads on their terms and not The Man's. That's okay with us.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 2-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Online, Outdoor



AKQA Not For Sale, Will Recapitalize With Private Equity Firm

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There was speculation over the past month that AKQA was up for sale but the agency tells us that's not the case. They are, however, "recapitalizing" by selling off stake of the agency to private equity firm General Atlantic. The agency will retain its independent status and we are told speculation the agency would sell was exactly that: uninformed speculation.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 2-07    
Topic: Agencies



TAOW Inks with Diamondback Bicycles in Joined Effort to Nail BMX Lovers

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Portland, Oregon-based TAOW Productions just nailed a contract to manage Diamondback's BMX bike team. This means they manage their events and activities, getting the BMX lifestyle out in the open and hopefully also increasing consumer demand for Diamondback's products and services.

TAOW thinks it's looking at a new kind of model for experiential marketing intended to nail "cool market" influencers, a phrase we find lame, but short of "jaded and bitchy" we can't think of anything more polite to address the demographic they're referring to. TAOW's other recent efforts included icons like hip hop's Kanye West and Rodney Pete, formerly of the NFL. Their brand partners also include prominent lifestyle labels like Red Bull, Diesel and American Express. So maybe "the little agency that could" knows something other marketers don't.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-31-07    
Topic: Agencies



Ad Age's Jonah Bloom Slapped Down For Defending CP+B

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While Advertising Age's Jonah Bloom has had issues with what we've written a couple times, we are, without doubt, sure he's going to take issue with what George Parker recently wrote about a column Jonah did on Crispin Porter + Bogusky backlash. Commenting on Bloom's statement about ads being "events" and hatred of Crispin's work actually being a good thing for the client, Parker wrote, "Listen Jonah baby, do me a favor, go and rent a copy of 'The Hucksters' and check out the scene where Sydney Greenstreet as 'The Soap Baron' spits up a huge gob of phlegm on the boardroom table to show agency guy Clark Gable how you go about catching the consumers attention. It's disgusting, just like holding a pile of dog shit, or having a crazed Nazi with a Nurse Diesel assistant shilling for VW. You don't have to spit in someone's face to get their attention."

Parker's gleeful criticism doesn't end there, adding, " And don't give me that shit about 'Ads as events.' They're fucking ADS... Get it. If I want an event, I'll go to the Super Bowl, and not for the ads. This is what happens when you have people who've never worked a day in advertising, writing about advertising. Pathetic!"

So who's right? No bullshit George who has years of advertising experience or CP+B-defending Jonah who's made a successful career in journalism?

by Steve Hall    Jan-31-07    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Hilary Clinton Grabs Mad Ave Execs For 2008 Presidential Bid

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For her 2008 Presidential bid, Hilary Clinton has gathered together her advertising team including GSD&M CEO Roy Spence, Voluntary United Group of Creative Agencies CEO Andy Berlin and former BBDO Senior Executive Creative Director Jimmy Siegel. Spence is a close friend of Clinton and has known both Bill and Hilary since 1972 and worked on Bill Clinton's bid for the Presidency.

Already, the Hilary Clinton campaign has been seen advertising on blogs through the BlogAds network in an effort to reach the several very powerful political influencers who inhabit that space.

by Steve Hall    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Agencies, Campaigns



Ideal London Typographist Needs Decoding Skillz

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London-based Lunar BBDO doesn't just want to find a typographist, they want to find the typographist. To prove worthy of this destiny, the right candidate needed to decode a want ad cryptically written in Webdings, Zapf Dingbats and Wingdings - picture fonts that appear in everybody's Word program for reasons we never understood. We also suspect they're the language of preference for the makers of crop circles.

Copy reads, "Mac-based typographer/designer wanted. Award-winning ad agency seeks help with its Mac/design output. West End space provided in exchange for negotiable hours of work. Contact Daryl Corps on 07802 499 658." The ad was disseminated at art colleges and typography mags. And apparently it really did nail a hire.

Kudos to Lunar for being far cleverer than we, because when we need new hires we get drunk and try releasing smoke signals in the shape of martinis from our backyards. This has yet to yield interest outside of the local police force, and the occasional cat.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Magazine



University Wants Ad Agency on Campus

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Here's an intriguing proposition. Kean University of NJ is building a new building and wants an advertising agency or design studio as a tenant. Since we all know academia doesn't properly prepare those interested in advertising for the realities of the business, setting an actual agency right next to classrooms might not be a bad idea. Called the Design Center Building, the building would be about six stories and would also house retail businesses such as: a digital printing company, a full service bank, a restaurant, and a Barnes and Noble Super Store with Starbucks. If you're interested in doing something different and want to check this out, call Rose Gonnella, design department professor at 908-737-4432 or email here at rgonnell@kean.edu.

by Steve Hall    Jan-24-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Trends and Culture



TBWA's Chuck McBride 'Murders' Co-Workers, Leaves Agency

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Oh this is beyond good. This is genius. If we could all leave our jobs this way, a career in advertising would be a very satisfying experience. Imagine getting back at all your idiotic asshole co-workers you had to deal with during your stay at the agency. Imagine pulling a knife on that fat ass, know-it-all account director that made you do all his work. Imagine cutting the nads of that smarmy jerk in accounting who couldn't keep his eyes off your breasts. Of course, they are huge and bulging out of your cleavage-enhancing tops all the time but that's besides the point. Imagine TBWA\CHIAT\DAY Executive Creative Director Chuck McBride murdering all the employees in the San Francisco before he leaves to start his own agency. Imagine...oh wait...it's just a spoof YouTube video. Everything's going to be OK.

by Steve Hall    Jan-24-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Spoofs, Strange, Video










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