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We Hear: RJR/Camel Leaves BFG

RJRT Logo cmyk2Details on this post are vague and we’ve received no confirmation, but we hear that the R.J. Reynolds/Camel account is no longer with BFG Communications.

While the agency does not advertise its campaigns for Camel, research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information tells us that it worked over the past decade creating a series of events and websites designed to help the brand “[penetrate] the underground hipster scene” via associations with indie bands and other “lifestyle” indicators.

For context, RJR named the former head of nutrition at PepsiCo North America as its new president/CCO last week, and we first heard buzz about a frayed relationship between agency and client more than a month ago.

Today, several tipsters tell us that the loss of business led to the announcement of multiple layoffs today for the South Carolina/New York-based shop. One tip has the total approaching three digits.

Another tip claims that the company has moved from BFG to one of the big names; we’re currently waiting for confirmation on that one.

Updates as they arrive.

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Ad Council Announces New President/CEO

Laura ShermanSeveral months after the April announcement that Peggy Conlon would step down after 15 years as president/CEO of The Ad Council, the group has announced her successor: Lisa Sherman will assume the role starting November 3rd.

Sherman spent eight years launching and managing Viacom’s LGBT-themed channel Logo TV, where she currently serves as EVP/general manager. Sherman announced her resignation from that role nearly one year ago, and in the meantime has held advisory roles such as Vice Chair of the Board of the New York City-based God’s Love We Deliver.

Before joining Logo, Sherman spent nearly two decades in various communications/marketing roles with Verizon and founded a marketing services company called Women’s Sports Network. She also brings agency experience to the new role after spending two two years at Hill Holliday New York as EVP/SVP of new business and account management.

Laura Desmond, the global CEO of Starcom MediaVest who became the Council’s new chair in July, had this to say about Sherman:

 “Her background spanning media, advertising and corporate brands, as well as the charitable arena, provide her with a unique 360 view that will serve the Ad Council well.”

DDB &Tribal Introduces KLM’s Lost & Found Team Mascot

DDB & Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam introduces KLM’s Lost & Found Team with a new video highlighting the team’s adorable canine mascot.

Since KLM receives 40,000 questions via social media every week, and many of them relate to missing items, the company decided to set up a dedicated Lost & Found team. The team “uses all available information like seat numbers, phone numbers and public social media details to reunite passengers with their belongings.” DDB & Tribal decided they were missing something, however: a search dog.

“We were told that the members of KLM’s Lost & Found team sometimes track down passengers before they even realize they’ve lost something,” said Alex Herwig and Jeroen Thissen, creatives at DDB & Tribal Worldwide. “We feel they are a bit like detectives. So to illustrate that KLM goes above and beyond for their passengers, we decided to involve a search dog.”

In the video, the search dog can be seen reuniting passengers with missing items, training and getting friendly with KLM staff. It’s worth a quick 90 seconds for a look at KLM’s mascot in action, but if you want to skip the introduction and get straight to the canine cuteness, skip to around the 30-second mark or so. Read more

W+K NY Utilizes Voice of Donald Sutherland in ‘No Bag Left Behind’ for Delta

W+K New York enlisted the voice acting services of Donald Sutherland in their latest effort for Delta Airline’s “Keep Climbing” campaign.

Cleverly titled “No Bag Left Behind,” the spot derives from the insight that Delta flies more people than any other airline. Positioning this insight in an emotional context, the 60-second broadcast spot breaks from the more rational, documentary-style tone “Keep Climbing” has taken in the past, also employing the use of color for the first time in the campaign.

Directed by Noam Murro, the ad follows the bear-shaped bag of a small girl as it is cared for by Delta employees ensuring its safe delivery. Sutherland’s voice provides the perfect calm cadence to narrate the spot, concluding with the line, “…but when you’ve got an entire company who knows that the fewest cancellations and the most on-time flights are nothing if we can’t get your things there too, it’s no wonder more people choose Delta than any other airline,” delivered as the very relieved girl picks up her bag. The spot, which launched yesterday, will run until the end of November. Read more

john st. Asks Questions for President’s Choice

john st. has a new campaign for President’s Choice, Canada’s number one consumer packaged goods brand, celebrating curiosity.

Who decided to try to eat pineapple? Who first braved a beehive to get honey? How did people figure out which mushrooms were edible? Who figured out popcorn? These are some of the questions posed by the campaign’s 60-second broadcast spot, “Crave More,” which concludes with the line, “If you don’t search for more, you’ll never find it.”

“It’s the questioning of the status quo that leads to the discoveries of foods and different ways of sourcing foods that is really the DNA of President’s Choice,” explains Angus Tucker, partner and creative director of John St. “That’s what we were trying to capture, that passion for finding the new and the next.”

The campaign also includes a 30-second broadcast spots, in-store marketing, social media elements and an overhauled website.

Promotions, Departures at Lowe Campbell Ewald


This morning brings both official and unofficial news from Detroit-based Lowe Campbell Ewald.

From the press release, Managing Director Kevin Wertz is now the agency’s president. Wertz joined LCE in 2007 and moved to Texas in 2009 to open its San Antonio office; in the new role he will split his time between Texas and Michigan, reporting directly to CEO Jim Palmer.

This announcement comes two weeks after LCE officially won the Cadillac account from Hill Holliday, but Wertz will not manage that client; his new responsibilities include leading all of the agency’s non-automotive accounts in both offices as well as handling “media, strategic planning, analytics, digital strategy and social media capabilities.” Prior to joining Lowe, he served as VP/account director at Doner.

Read more

Tuesday Morning Stir

-Bensimon Byrne focuses on family for Nature’s Path with “A Step in the Right Direction” (video above).

-Omnicom SVP and CFO Randall Weisenburger is leaving the company.

-A look at the minds behind “Dirtbag Teddy Roosevelt.”

-Los Angeles agency Pitch was named lead agency for casual seafood chain Bonefish Grill.

-Under Armour gives junior hockey league players the chance to be a Maple Leaf for a day.

-Facebook to unveil new ad platform tracking users across multiple devices.

-Weird facts about five of the most famous logos.

Monday Odds and Ends

-Grey Tel Aviv introduces “Grandma’s Underwear” for Delta Lingerie (video above).

-Adweek reveals the winners of its 2014 Project Isaac and Isaac+ Awards, “honoring inventors expanding the realm of possibility and transforming media, advertising, marketing and technology with new products and concepts.”

-Brand publishers ditch Facebook in favor of microsites.

-AdAge tackles digital ad fraud in “Explain It Like I’m Eight.”

-Apple tops CoolBrands list for third straight year.

-The NFL names Dawn Hudson as its new CMO.

Someone Hacked Razorfish’s Twitter Account

It happens to the best of us: someone gained access to Razorfish’s Twitter account and spent approximately five minutes this afternoon spamming some of the agency’s 98.5 thousand followers with junk links.

Razorfish Trolled

Thankfully, someone quickly identified the problem and cut the spam stream short.

Unfortunately, while the tweets promised “horrible”, “nasty” posts about their recipients, they did not link back to any AgencySpy comment threads.

Good reminder, though: change your passwords often.

Momentum Worldwide, Budweiser Remind You That ‘Friends Are Waiting’

Momentum Wordlwide revealed one of the cuter safe drinking PSAs you’re likely to see for Budweiser last Friday, timed to coincide with Global Be(er) Responsible Day.

The ad continues Budweiser’s affiliation with cute dogs (as seen in Anomaly’s “Puppy Love” Super Bowl spot). In “Friends Are Waiting” we are introduced to a man and his companion, a yellow lab, through a montage of the dog growing from a puppy to an adult. We then see the man leave with a group of friends, six pack of Budweiser in hand, telling the dog he’ll see him later. The lab waits patiently all night, accompanied by the text, “For some the wait never ended. But we can change that.” Then the man returns home to a very excited dog, explaining that he spent the night at a friend’s house, followed by the message, “Make a plan to make it home. Your friends are counting on you.”

It’s a pretty adorable approach to the overly familiar safe-drinking PSA, and sure to have dog owners of all stripes teary-eyed. By taking a different angle on the subject, and appealing to people’s natural love of their pets, it just may be memorable to make an impression and get dog owners to make safer drinking choices. Momentum is supporting the spot with the #friendsarewaiting hashtag, in an effort to help spread the message.