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OnDownLow

Publicis London meeting to slash & burn staff

Publicis is reviewing the agency operations in London as its starts a consultation with the current staff that could lead to shitcanning some staff. It is expected to lead to at least ten people will get the axe if it comes down to it — which means it probably will come to that conclusion.

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The London-based senior suits are meeting with Publicis Groupe worldwide chief executive Richard Pinder next week to discuss the situation. Pinder says there maybe some layoffs but adds that some of the jobs may be relocated abroad.

All of this comes after Publicis retained the $200 million below the line HP account in the EMEA region after a marathon six-way pitch. They lost the advertising account they had held onto for 12 years back in January 2006.

Apparently Publicis promised HP that they’d re-jig the account to make some savings & “streamlining of costs” (read: people reporting to the unemployment line) in order to retain it.

Publicis London suffered a series of losses last year including Asda, MFI and The Post Office, which was a third of its billing. It led to the departure of then chief executive Grant Duncan and UK chairman Tim Lindsay. It later appointed former Vodafone marketer Neil Simpson as chief executive.

The heave-ho at Berlin Cameron…

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Apparently the President of Berlin Cameron, William J. (Bill) Grogan Jr, was shown the door a week ago — we’ll see where we get with the PR hack for the back story.

Of course it would be a lot easier if they listed someone to connect with on their website — but that is expecting too much from a company in the communications business apparently.

Update:

Spoke with Bill’s assistant this afternoon — no one knows anything….there is to be an announcement of some sort in regard to it, but everyone is apparently flying blind there at the moment…typical.

John Wren is raking in the cheddar…

John Wren, the Omnicom chief executive, was the mostly highly paid marketing services executive in 2007, taking home $10.4m for the year.
Although the amount he was paid dropped from $13.2m in 2006, Wren topped the table ahead of Michael Roth, the Interpublic chief executive.

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Roth’s pay increased from $7.7m to $8.9m (which should drive George Parker fucking nuts — I’m sure he is blogging about it now), while Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, took home £3.57m ($6.96m) after an 8.5% annual increase.

Of course, this doesn’t count the extra $10 mil that Wren got for cashing in some stock options back in February — what a man does with his stock options of course is between him, his broker, his accountant and the potential tax shelter offshore account in the Caymans.

You call that a knife?….This is a knife!

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Nothing like pulling out the classic Crocodile Dundee lines to announce that Tourism Australia has “cut” the agencies competing for the global account down to two finalists.

Saatchi and Saatchi to battle it out with DDB Worldwide in the final showdown. Incumbent M&C Saatchi was canned, along with Publicis Mojo, Singleton Ogilvy & Mather and Whybin TBWA.

Clemenger BBDO withdrew from the pitch-process earlier following a review of its own resources.

In the grand style that is ad pitches these days, he final round of pitches will include presentations in Australia and meetings in Tourism Australia’s key regional offices in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and China (lots of free trips for those conducting the review.)

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Incumbent Carat and Media Planning Group continue to battle it out for the body’s media planning and buying business. The current contracts with both the ad & media accounts come to an end on June 30th.

Element 9 Update

Aside from the daily question from the Anon tip box that asks us (every single day) what is going on with Element 79 out of Chicago — we hear that tomorrow is the lay-off day for all those involved in the recent deluge of losses that the agency has incurred in the past couple of months.

The biggest of them all announced a month ago with the Gatorade and Tropicana brands on the move to to TBWA\Chiat\Day and Arnell Group, respectively.

TBWA\C\D, Playa del Rey, Calif., will handle Gatorade, and Arnell, New York, is now going to handle Tropicana. Both shops are owned by Omnicom Group, as is Element 79.

Element 79 lost three other PepsiCo brands: Tostitos — from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division — and Propel Fitness Water, both of which shifted to sister shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, and Lays — also part of Frito-Lay — which moved to sister shop Juniper Park in Toronto, a subsidiary of BBDO.

All of this under rumours that there is going to be a massive shakeup in management at E79 — but probably like a game of musical chairs with too many seats.

People will get moved around to other Omnicom companies to work anew — with no real heavy losses in the upper ranks (answering the question again — How is having a job at a big agency like working for the Bush administration?)

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Please feel free to share any other stories coming out — be interesting to know what the hell the plan is — for example — will they merge with DDB Chicago?

AKQA goes Hollywood…

Ok…not exactly — but they have launched a new division — aptly named “AKQA Film”, to create, distribute and sponsor digital programming and content.

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I’ll be run by Emily Bull, the Head of Production, and merge the existing broadcast and motion graphics teams.

Previous AKQA film projects include ‘Tipping Pot’ for Pot Noodle and ‘Unflinching Triumph’ for Red Bull.

As well as creating content for its clients, the new team will also produce and sponsor independent films and creative projects.

You heard it here kids — tune up those screenplays, get some new headshots done and get your agent on the phone — there is a new kid in town.

basically they seem to be trying to create a new name for a division of stuff that already exists — but from a digital agency perspective. Think taking Fallon’s “BMW Films” and being able to run that project from a digital agency side as opposed to having to go to a broadcast shop.

Capital One changes dance partners

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Capital One in the UK has changed agencies for its advertising account — dropping one Omnicom agency (DDB London) for another one (AMV BBDO) (ed note: isn’t it a little like dropping one girl to take up with her sister?)

Anyway, the account is worth about $80m (£40m) — and the reason is that there are new features that Capital One wants to pimp out and they want “a new creative strategy” to do so.

My favorite part:

“Stephen Woodford, DDB’s UK chief executive, said: “We’ve had a successful relationship with Capital One and together we have recognised it is time for a fresh perspective on the brand. We wish them every success with AMV BBDO”.”

In other words, “I’m fucking shattered that AMV is taking one of our biggest, highest profile accounts and we are left holding the bag — hopefully Volkswagen & Phillips don’t leave next — prepare the axe to chop some underlings who were in no way responsible for the loss of the account so I can maintain my year-end bonus.”

Good times all around…

And then there were four….

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Ok…so it is for the creative portion of the Mitsubshi business — which given previous comments by readers (*cough cough* when you guys did comment on the site) is either a completely soul-sucking account — or it just sucks to work on because of the ever-changing client needs makes a rollercoaster ride look like a drive through Iowa in comparison. (ed note: I’m full of metaphors today…or full of something…)

The contenders for the $185 million creative account — all based in Southern California — are: Omnicom Group’s DDB/LA in Venice; and independents Ignited in El Segundo, WongDoody in Seattle and Culver City and Traffic in Los Angeles.

180 (LA), MMB (who in the act of looking up to find out who the hell they were — well their website broke my browser…instant demerit points there) and Ground Zero are among the shops that did not advance apparently.

BBDO West, the incumbent for the past three years out of San Francisco, did not defend.

The folks at Mitsubishi apparently want to cut back on the TV spend and hike the digital spend — which puts Organic on the hook too as they are the digital AOR and their work is up for review as well.

This whole thing should finally be wrapped up at the end of the month when final presentations are set to occur.

Grey taps a ECD of digital

Well Grey has always sucked at the digital aspects of this world we call “advertising” — but they have a new ECD going forward…probably so they can continue to suck going forward.

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The unlucky bastard thrust into the spotlight — Don McKinney — who joins from a completely unremarkable stint at Cole & Weber in Seattle where he was a partner.

Don lives off his past when he headed up Tequila interactive (another completely unremarkable agency), TBWA\Chiat\Day’s digital arm, where he wrote, developed and rolled out globally the “Shift” campaign for Nissan.

McKinney is the second big hire Grey CCO Tor Myhren has made since joining Grey and helping to win the E*Trade account late last year. In April 22, Myhren announced the hire of South African creative director Noel Cottrell to head E*Trade’s creative development as an ecd.

DDB Seattle trims 20…

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We got a tip late last week that mentioned that DDB Seattle had just let 20 more staffers go at the time. Apparently it is the fourth or fifth layoff of staff in a series over the past few months as business dwindles int he region.

Looks like the on-going struggles of DDB have expanded beyond just the Chicago operation and are affecting other offices as well…

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