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Aegis

Microsoft Goes with IPG, Dentsu Aegis

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Microsoft’s nearly four-month long agency review process is over.

Today brings news that the company chose IPG for ads and Dentsu Aegis for media. The release reads:

“At Interpublic Group, creative, localization and deployment will be handled by various agency teams throughout IPG’s global network.”

…which means a lot of work for a lot of people since Microsoft’s annual media spend totals more than $1 billion.

Last month the company’s RFP told the agencies involved in the review that they should be “open to change”, and VP/CMO Chris Capossela writes that both new parties fit that bill:

“We believe both groups will help us communicate more strategically and efficiently in a rapidly evolving marketplace.”

The company reportedly stuck with former Bill Clinton flack Mark Penn to handle the big decision. We can only hope its “Scroogled” campaign doesn’t have quite as many lives.

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Aegis Kicks Out Robert Lerwill

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Robert Lerwill, Aegis’ Group chief executive, is leaving the company at the end of the month. He’s been in the position since 2005.

Lerwill spent most of his time fighting off Vincent Bollore to win seats on Aegis’ board and dealing with Renault-Nissan’s $750 million defecation to OMD.

Hunh. Well, Lerwill got his. He was given an 11 percent pay raise last year, so there.

More: Aegis Buying Clownfish Is Like Mariah Carey Marrying Nick Cannon

Aegis Loses $56M

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Aegis is just not having a good year. Just the other day, Aegis Group lost one of its top media-buying accounts, French car maker Renault SA. OMD has picked up the account. Price tag of the loss is almost $567M. It’s one percent of Aegis’s total annual revenue.

More: Aegis Buying Clownfish Is Like Mariah Carey Marrying Nick Cannon

Aegis Buying Clownfish Is Like Mariah Carey Marrying Nick Cannon

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Aegis wants you to know that they care about the green, man. The media company has bought UK/US shop Clownfish. Founded in 2002, Clownfish helps brands figure out how sustainability can improve business performance; matches brands with appropriate NGOs and performs general green ideation. It’s a strong brand headed up by the very sharp CEO Diana Verde Nieto.

Nice play for Aegis, but naturally, the company has decided to merge Clownfish into Isobar -
Aegis’ global digital marketing firm. Isobar is like a shark. It just swallows other agencies whole like in December 2004 when it ate up search marketing firm iProspect. Or when, in 2005 it chomped down on web build agency de-construct, creative agency Farfar, ecommerce specialist Molecular, UK creative agency Glue and the list goes on and on.

Hmm…those were all digital shops. Clownfish does the whole environment, bottom line thing. You know, this reminds me of when I found out that Mariah Carey got married to pseudo-pop star Nick Cannon. I knew right then that these two people had gone way off the reservation, lost their marbles. Reading about this merger is kind of like that. You just know it’s a bad idea.

More: And a Spokeswhore is Born
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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.