Crispin Porter + Bogusky Signs Content Deal With FOX

Our very creative friends in Miami, Crispin Porter + Bogusky have signed a first-look deal with FOX Television Studios under which FOX gets first right of refusal on CP+B's program ideas. While we love CP+B's commercial work, let's hope this deal doesn't lead to long form commercials passed of as television programs. Oh wait, I forgot about The Apprentice, Survivor, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and, oh, just about every other program currently airing.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (7)     File: Agencies     May- 9-05  
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Lord help us.

Posted by: KRank on May 9, 2005 11:38 AM

Maybe they can team Burger King's Subservient Chicken with Quizno's Baby Bob in a remake of the Nike-inspired "Space Jam."

Could there be any clearer sign of Hollywood's creative bankrupcy that it's turning to a freakin' ad agency to come up with ideas? God forbid they should turn to someone with vision and artistic integrity, someone with a story to tell as opposed to a product to sell.

Posted by: The Late David Ogilvy on May 9, 2005 01:34 PM

At the birth of TV, ad agencies were deeply involved in creating content. So, now we're circling back around. Good!

TV, like film, music, or fine art is a product. A product seeking a market, if it's creator is to make a living from it. So, who better to create content that sells than an ad agency? I embrace this move by Fox and CP+B, and only wish I was in on it, or something like it.

Posted by: David Burn on May 9, 2005 04:04 PM

Afraid I cannot share your enthusiasm, David. I would respectfully submit that the problem with TV these days - as in the past - is precisely the fact that so much of it is a product to be packaged and sold. There is no artistic integrity, no personal vision. It's hard to imagine Crispin - or any other agency - creating a show like The Sopranos or The Simpsons.

Perhaps I'm being excessively old fashoned here, but I say leave the content to the artists and the commercials to the admen.

Posted by: The Late David Ogilvy on May 9, 2005 05:24 PM

You have every right to be old-fashioned. You are the Late Great David Ogilvy, after all.

I'm coming from a different place. A place where many of the ads are better than the programming. So why not let the ad peeps make the shows too?

As far as your issue with TV shows being "packaged and sold," I hardly know what to say. We are talking about the same big box that Americans spend 4 four plus hours a day in front of, right?

Posted by: David Burn on May 9, 2005 05:41 PM

By the birth of television or the early days of television do you mean shows like Playhouse 90 and Omnibus and Kraft Theater?
This stuff wasn't written by admen.
It was written and directed by some of the best and brightest talent that America's theater and letters had to offer. You don't mean to imply Milton Berl's and Jack Benny's material was written inhouse by short sleeved brandy sipping copywriters
at O & M or JWT ect, do you?
Producers like Arthur Penn and John Housman came not from the bullpens of Madison Avenue.
The fact that ads are often better than programming does not mean, I think, that the ads are so good.
Doesn't it mean, sadly, that the programming is just a stinking to high heaven pitifully carbon copied rehash of half baked focus grouped drivel?
Honestly I'd like to be surprised and delighted and proven too cynical on this. But I can't hold my breath.
Not with King Murdoch in the mix.

Posted by: KRank on May 9, 2005 07:14 PM

Exceptionally well said, Krank. You state the case far more eloquently than I. The fact remains that most of the truly great TV shows were the brainchild of writers and producers who aspired to something more than filling the time slot between "Gilligan's Island" and "My Mother The Car." And they certainly weren't creating "branded entertainment" designed to push hamburgers or mouthwash or feminine hygiene products.

Of course, it is entirely possible that all this sound and fury will signify nothing. Every actor who has had a TV show in the past 40 years probably has some kind of first-look deal in place - even Gavin freakin' McLeod for God's sake.

The fact that they've given one of these deals to an ad agency is certainly a novelty. And perhaps Crispin will deliver. But many of these deal are nothing but hype and hot air, having been announced with a grand flourish only to languish in the shadows.

As of now, the only thing this deal has produced is more fawning press coverage for Crispin - as if there weren't enough of that already.

Posted by: The Late David Ogilvy on May 9, 2005 08:54 PM

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