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Should Agencies Edit Their Own Wikipedia Pages?

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In case you missed it, last week Digiday exposed a horrific scandal within the ad industry: agencies editing their own Wikipedia pages to make them read more like, well, ads. This went well beyond correcting inaccuracies and the sort of monthly upkeep that’s become standard operating procedure for businesses big enough to warrant such entries.

While none of the implicated parties confessed, it certainly looked like some internal changes had come from Wikipedia editors who just happened to work for JWT, AKQA, BBH, Big Spaceship, Cossette and more.

This is normally an issue one might associate with PR firms. In fact, reps from several of the world’s biggest firms–one of which might represent your agency–arranged an informal agreement with the Wikipedia editorial community last month: they promised not to pay or hire editors with clearance who would then work to spruce up their clients’ pages (or their own).

Since we are independently fascinated by this phenomenon, we reached out to several of our agency contacts to get their takes on the story.

We were surprised by how few volunteered, but we do have a couple of good quotes on the topic after the jump…

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Tuesday Odds and Ends


-Greenpeace launches “Cats Save Tigers” campaign on International Tiger Day (video above). link

-Media agency MEC has appointed José Miranda as regional director for analytics and insights in Latin America. link

-Minneapolis-based agency Campbell Mithun announced its partnership with DOG for DOG by donating over 275 pounds of the brand’s all-natural food and treats to Minneapolis-based, Secondhand Hounds Animal Rescue. link

-Mountain Dew recieved 3,500 phone calls from click-to-call tweet. link

-BLT communications announced the launch of BLT+, “a new advertising division dedicated to marketing consumer goods and services.”

-Twitter shares jump following second quarter report. link

-Medium makes the leap to native advertising. link

David Duchovny Stokes Russian National Pride for Siberian Crown Beer

In one of the more absurd items you’ll see today, David Duchovny stars in an ad for Siberian Crown Beer.

In the extended 2:30 online spot, Duchovny is at a rooftop party when he pontificates, “There is another country where I got my family name from. And sometimes I wonder: What if things turned out differently? What if I were Russian?”

Duchovny goes on an extended monologue on what his life might be like if he were Russian. His musings awkwardly vacillate from tongue-in-cheek humor (like when he asks “Would the world know my smile?” and we see him pictured as a hockey player, complete with missing front tooth) to more serious-minded patriotism. The spot ends with the latter, as Duchovny concludes “”I found out that being Russian, I’d have many things to be proud of.”

The ad is a bit of a headscratcher. Even more so, perhaps, is Duchovny’s decision to align himself with a Russian brand celebrating the country at a time when it faces the threat of serious economic sanctions as a backlash for increasingly imperialistic foreign policy. His involvement caused enough controversy, in fact, that he felt the need to issue a statement clarifying that he did not support current Russian politics and that his involvement in the commercial was not in any way a political statement or endorsement of Putin’s policies.

FleishmanHillard Gives Two Thumbs to Pure TalkUSA

FleishmanHillard is primarily known for its PR and strategic advisory services, but today brings a new, traditional ad spot created by the agency for client Pure TalkUSA, a no-contract mobile service provider.

The ad addresses a very real problem: kids using their parents’ credit cards to spend money on smartphone games.

Here’s the :30 for “Jeremy”:

Nice tagline at the end there.

Fleishman ECD Nick Childs says:

“Part of that ‘smartphone consequence’ is your dumb thumbs can make some pretty bad calls. We wanted to bring that to life in a relatable, funny way…and help Pure Talk become the voice of reason for budget-minded Americans.”

For the record, we feel like the mom in this campaign should be glad that her son didn’t follow the FDA’s model and spend money turning himself into a C-list celebrity in “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.”

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McKinney Channels Golden Girls for ESPN’s SEC Network

McKinney uses the song “Thank You For Being A Friend” (a cover of which is the theme song to the classic show Golden Girls) for a new campaign promoting the launch of ESPN’s SEC network for South Eastern Conference college sports, which launches August 14th.

The 30-second spot, “Animals,” features mascots from the conference, from Mississippi State’s “Bully” to Auburn’s “War Eagle” to Arkansas’ “Tusk.” It’s a simple approach, but between the loveable animal mascots and the Golden Girl nostalgia stoking musical selection, the spot is just plain likeable. And that’s coming from someone who couldn’t care less about college football. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Colossal Murals Earn Eyeballs in Brooklyn

Yes, you can read that headline both ways: Brooklyn’s Colossal Media, or “the largest hand paint mural and out-of-home advertising company in the US”, earned a mention from our fellow trade blog AdFreak yesterday for a new campaign created to promote…the agency itself!

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The  murals, which have appeared recently in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick (but not near Roberta’s, since no one with an MFA can afford to eat there), serve a dual purpose: they allow the agency to both support the neighborhood and attract local artists to work on apprentice programs for their traditional outdoor campaigns.

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Figliulo & Partners Rolls Out More ‘Framily’ for Sprint

Figliulo & Partners continues their slightly absurd “Framily” campaign for Sprint.

The agency launched the odd, nature-defying campaign back in March with a series of four ads. Now they’re back with two additions to the Frobinsons’ story. In “Count On It” (featured above) Chuck is out on the road with framily member Gordon (pronounced Gor-don) when his motorcycle breaks down. He calls his father (who, you might remember, is a hamster for some reason, voiced by Andrew Dice Clay), who he assures Gordon always picks up. Despite being in the middle of a frame of bowling with the wife, the father answers and rushes (or rolls) to the rescue. Yup, this campaign is still a frucking weird one.

Another spot, “Spin Off,” features Hamster Dad and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. Stick around for credits and that spot after the jump. Read more

DDB California Brings Back ‘Snap Into a Slim Jim’

DDB California brings back Slim Jim’s classic “Snap Into a Slim Jim” tagline in their latest campaign for the brand.

The new campaign targets the 18-25 crowd, most of whom are probably too young to remember the line as delivered by Randy Savage in its original incarnation. Still, it’s a memorable tagline and bringing it back will stoke nostalgia in the slightly older set. The 30-second spot reintroducing the line “Snap Into It,” unfortunately, is less memorable. With the only lines in the ad rhymes playing on meat sticks: bro sticks, pro sticks, hooray sticks, meat chicks, tree sticks, etc., the onscreen action focuses on one group of friends’ epic day, concluding with a goat party. “Snap into a goat party, snap into a slim jim,” the spot concludes. As you can imagine, it’s a tad on the goofy side, but the tagline’s return is a welcome one. A series of 15-second ads, also featuring the classic tagline, pit Slim Jims against a generic competitor in a series of ridiculous situations.

“It’s what people know and love about the brand,” group creative director Travis Parr told Adweek, reffering to the old tagline. “ConAgra worried it had too much baggage or might make them seem old. But they finally decided it was cool.” Credits and the 15-second “Possum” after the jump. Read more

Unilever Reviewing All of Its Digital Agencies

Unilever_html_m59a35fbeIn what can only be the most amazing coincidence in recent history, massive multinational consumer goods corporation Unilever followed its CMO’s “Advertising is chaos” Wall Street Journal blog post with the announcement that it will conduct an exhaustive global agency review.

Today “industry executives” told AdAge that they’re reviewing everything (creative, PR, social, data, etc.), and the review appears to be open to pretty much everyone–incumbent and non-incumbent alike.

While no one at Unilever offered official comments to AdAge, the word driving this move is a bad one: savings.

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EP Travis Quinn Out at BBH New York

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Some news out of BBH today on the production side: we hear that Travis Quinn, Executive Art Producer and longtime staffer, is leaving the agency.

Quinn has run art production at the agency for several years, managing shoots for clients like Playstation, Axe, and Cole Haan.  His departure follows the arrival of Carey Head, who was hired away from Barton F. Graf  9000 to oversee production in May. BBH also recently made more changes to its production department by promoting Executive Producer Kate Morrison to Head of Content Production. It seems the agency is following the lead of departments across the globe by ramping up its integrated offerings on the production front.

No official word on where he or his colorful pants are  headed or whether BBH’s New York office has plans to replace him. Quinn finishes his tour of duty at the end of this month.

Updates as we receive them.

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