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OnDownLow

Nike — kicking ass again…

Ok…so Soccer (or “football” for those so cultured) is not exactly the most popular sport in the US — but it is the world’s most popular sport.

And in the continuing conquest that is Nike commercials (see: Steve Nash)– they have picked out a winner again.

I’m not a huge football fan — but this a massive commercial — and highly entertaining. Leave a comment as see how many “famous” football players and luminaries are shown in the video.

(I love the WAG angle too…)

Wanna watch that latest Hollywood blockbuster on a 3.5″ screen?

You are in luck — Apple has inked a deal with a hell of a lot of movie studios to distribute their movies on iTunes the same day they are released on DVD.

The list of studios include 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios.

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The first new release titles to go on sale this week include ‘American Gangster’ and ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’. Other recent movies also available include ‘Juno’, ‘Cloverfield’, ‘I Am Legend’, ‘There Will Be Blood’ and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks.’

Only US consumers can access the movie downloads area on iTunes at present. New titles are priced at $14.99 and most back catalogue titles at $9.99. The movies can also be rented at $2.99 for a library title and $3.99 for new releases.

The deal could severely change the landscape of the DVD industry, including video rental chains such as Blockbuster, because they will no longer have the window of exclusivity before movies are released online.

Studios previously gave DVD releases a head start of as much as 30 to 45 days over other distribution outlets to help preserve a major income source. I’d sell the stock in Blockbuster tout suite.

Of course, none of this all really matters to those who are in anyway tech savvy — the studios keep ignoring this BitTorrent technology wave. It allows one to get DVD-quality movies downloaded 2-4 weeks before it comes on DVD — and the average movie takes less than an hour to download. (ed note: Now…don’t go out there and actually do it though — that would be illegal and we love our readers too much to get the MPAA after your ass.)

They continue on with the “ignorance is bliss” stance… because that is working out so well.

Hey buddy — you a rocket scientist? Want a (nightmarish) ad job?

Well we’d gone over this ad nauseum over the on-going & numerous issues that WPP is having with getting “The DaVinci Project” off the ground — not even getting to the point of discussing the “up & running” stage of the new agency.

As mentioned previously, they are only about 1/2 staffed up at the moment with about 500 of the 1000 positions filled.

They require plenty of “foot soldiers” still to fill out the ranks — but are also missing their “General Petraeus” figurehead (Global CEO of the new agency) as well and several other required Majors & Captains (way too many parallels to Iraq there.)

Issues with the main (only) client plague the ability to hire — including having to deal with Casey “Grateful Dead song title” Jones on a daily basis — apparently a real winner of a dude.

Download the ad — (PDF)

Well they have taken it to a whole new level with this newspaper ad recently in the hometown local newspaper — The Austin Statesman (sent to us by one of the loyal readers.) Rocket scientists? really?!?!? Why not ask for basket weavers and knuckle draggers to apply too?

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He also mentioned rumors of leaflets being left on the windshields of cars around downtown Austin. The scent of desperation is never well-received — apparently WPP missed that memo…

R.I.P. – Randy Cohen

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Randy Cohen, VP, director of broadcast at MDC’s Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, and described as “A rock star in a producer’s body” died on April 25 following a brief illness. He was 49 years old.

Cohen leaves a daughter, Mikaela; a sister, Sharon Horowitz; and a former wife, Suzy Cohen.

Cohen worked at the New York ad shop for 10 years on accounts such as Wendy’s, Jergens, John Frieda, Panasonic, NYC 1012 and Liberty Mutual. Prior to Kirshenbam, he worked as a freelance agency producer with Wieden + Kennedy, Publicis, Elser & Aucone and Jones Films. Earlier, he spent seven years at Deutsch.

In honor of Cohen, Kirshenbaum said it has established the Randy Cohen Production Internship, a summer program to begin next month to help mentor and support those interested in the fields of broadcast and production. (For more information on this program, contact Mira Fein at mfein@kb.com.)

Miller drafts Leo Burnett

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Miller Genuine Draft has disowned Mother and the $70 million global advertising account has moved straight into Leo Burnett and Arc without a pitch.

Miller apparently asked Mother to submit ideas for a new global campaign earlier this year, but later asked Leo Burnett to put forward its own work for consideration.

Leo Burnett already had a connection with Miller through Arc, which handles Miller Genuine Draft’s direct marketing business, which it won in November last year.

Arc was hired by the parent company SABMiller to hook up with Mother and handle the international roll-out of the planned new global campaign. Leo Burnett and Arc will now handle conception and roll-out for the campaign.

Mother won the business in February 2005 after pitching against VCCP and The Hive, the Toronto-based incumbent.

Aegis stock skyrockets — Yo Vince — listen to the board….

Aegis shares have risen 4% today on the LSE after it issued a trading update showing its revenues have grown by 24% year on year.

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Aegis’ Board has a message for Vincent Bollore

The performance was helped by acquisitions and the weakness of the pound, but Aegis, headed by chief executive Robert Lerwill, still demonstrated strong organic growth at 8.3%.

Its share price rose 4.3% to 122p, giving the group a market capitalization of £1.41bn (about $2.8 billion USD.)

All of this is not going to be good news for “Vinny” — Vincent Bollore for those not in the know — as he continues to make fruitless efforts to stack the Aegis board.

It is believed Vince is planning to combine Aegis Media with Havas media agency MPG if the takeover ever materializes. The aegis board keeps giving him the smackdown — expected to be for the fifth time in a row at the next board meeting.

Breaking up with the ex is sometimes the wrong thing to do…

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Levi Strauss & Co (home of generic, but comfortable, jeans and khakis — the excitement of DOCKERS!!!) is due to transfer its media and creative business back to BBDO Korea in June, ending an 18-month sentence with TBWA.

The pitch also included Lee DDB. While the reason for the review has not been confirmed, Levi’s’ brand leader in Korea So Hee Kim commented that the Omnicom agency had demonstrated a sound understanding of the fashion industry and of the brand’s target consumer group (what else did you expect him to say?)

BBDO held Levi’s Korean account for four years before the brand appointed TBWA as its agency of record.

OMD bags another one…

Whoops….

So much for earlier (incorrect, lying bastard) reports — OMD didn’t even pitch the business due to client conflict.

Your true winners:

WPP Group’s MindShare, which adds U.S. duties, and Omnicom Group’s M2M, which retains the business non-U.S. territories

Disregard everything below here….

Omnicom media network OMD is kicking some major ass this week as Estée Lauder has consolidating its US$400 million global media planning and buying account into the agency after a marathon eight-month review.

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OMD fought off competition from a field believed to include the usual global suspects of GroupM, MPG and Starcom to take on a consolidated account worth US$75 million in Asia Pacific alone.

The focus will be on three “driver” markets: China, Korea and Japan. Estée’s biggest brand in Asia is Clinique, but Aramis, Origins and the eponymous brand will also receive media support this year.

This after OMD latched onto the $300m Intel account earlier this week — John Wren’s panties are probably a bit moist at the moment.

WPP is going a bit green…

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WPP is considering moving their operations from London to Ireland — all in the name of tax breaks.

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Joining other companies like Compaq, Dell, IBM, Oracle, Intel, Microsoft and a large number of banking and commercial organizations — all who have their European headquarters in Dublin or around Ireland — Martin Sorrell (the “poisoned dwarf” to the readers of GP) is looking to slash tax costs.

WPP currently pays more than $400 million USD (£200m) a year to the government in tax. Apparently, businesses registered in Ireland only pay 12.5 per cent corporation tax, compared to 28 per cent in the UK.

OMD has a new US Chief

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No — not that OMD — the other one.

OMD, the Omnicom media company — and been without a US Chief Executive since Joe Uva bailed out last year to become CEO at Univision, has finally found a replacement.

The “winner” — Alan Cohen, who used to work at IPG, will become the Chief Executive of the US. Cohen will report to North American chief executive Page Thompson. The agency is still without a worldwide chief executive though — and is still looking to fill that gig with a warm body.

Daryl Simm, head of Omnicom Media Group has been running OMD on a global basis on an interim basis.

Cohen’s appointment follows a number of changes at the media agency including the appointment of John Raj from Visa to head up the agency’s digital operations and Scott Hagedorn who was appointed as the agency’s East Coast boss recently.

Cohen, who is currently president of Initiative’s western region, has previously held positions at ABC, NBC and 20th Century Fox.

Last week, Omnicom Group, which also owns BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide and PHD, posted a 14 per cent lift in net income to $208.7 million (£104.8m) year-on-year.

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