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Blind Item

Blind Item: Which Automaker Seems to Be Having Some Issues?

So, here we go again, revving up the old Blind Item category out of nowhere. A handful of tips within one week’s time from seemingly different sources makes us go hmmm (h/t C+C Music Factory). Anyhow, there’s this certain automaker and this certain agency which are having their difficulties. We’ve even been told that there might be an account review in the coming weeks. Here you go, gang, have at it with some Mad Libs:

“Big shakeup on the ______ business.  CEO _______ has been moved off the brand pending results of the financial and accounting audit that the agency ________ is undergoing.  CEO of the agency ________ is moving items of the agency building and UHaul trucks were there all weekend.  Some very shady things were going on in the accounting and billing processes and ________ legal has jumped in.”

Blind Item: Richards Group’s Summer’s Eve Effort Was a Disaster from the Start

It’s been about three weeks, give or take, since the latest Summer’s Eve effort was pulled from the airwaves and Stan Richards, founder and namesake of the Richards Group, which was behind the brand’s “Hail to the V” campaign, had this to say to Adweek: “After listening to thousands of women say they want straight-talk and lighthearted communication on a historically-uncomfortable topic, Summer’s Eve gave us license to be bold, irreverent and celebratory across a multitude of mediums and to different audiences. We are surprised that some have found the online videos racially stereotypical.”

Well, if one tipster’s scoop is accurate, Richards Group shouldn’t have been so surprised considering that the campaign seemed doomed well before launch. Read on:

“Internally the ad is not talked about. The client never liked the ad and was basically talked into buying the idea by two untouchable CD’s at the agency. The ad was tested in focus groups and did terrible, and the client was again, pressured to run with it. The client did, and to absolutely terrible results. Granted it’s a difficult product, but for obvious reasons there has been a huge backlash to the campaign labeling it from sexist to racist and everything in between. [Because] of stupid shit like this, clients get scared and never want to take risks. Because after trusting irresponsible creatives, they get burned.”

Will the lesson be learned? Hmm, considering Summer’s Eve’s track record, we’re highly skeptical.

Thursday Blind Item: Creative Shown the Door After Argument

We’re going to make this short and sweet but yesterday we were reached by a senior art director at a well-known ad agency who took issue with a project manager about a certain script. The end result? He/she was shown the door and was fired within 24 hours. We’ll give you a one vague hint: The agency is based in the Northeast. We will now let you roll the dice and take a guess.

Update: This story is getting stranger as we received a tip from someone claiming to be said art director who said they in fact did not contact us regarding this blind item. We’ll dig into this.

A Couple of VPs Have Left HUGE, But Who Are They?

Time for you and I to play a Thursday guessing game as we’ve been trying to dig deeper info on a couple of tips received last night that said simply, “2 VPs gone from Huge.” Well, we received confirmation from the agency that a couple of senior folks who worked on the client services side and touched multiple accounts have indeed left the agency within the last week Since HUGE’s policy is not to comment specifically on individuals (see: Nick McGlynn), we guess it’s high time for a blind item.

If you have more info, give us a shout but we’ll keep digging around. In the meantime, HUGE sent us this quote that doesn’t really fill in the blanks, but if you like somewhat vague feedback, here you go:

“In the last six months or so we’ve added nearly a hundred people to the agency. The vast majority of people who come here stay, but it’s not exactly news in this industry that sometimes people move on for all sorts of reasons. Anyone who gets hired at HUGE has to be incredibly smart and out of respect for all our employees we don’t comment on the details when things don’t work out.”

 

Blind Item: This One Goes to the Dogs

We’re trying to post these blind items at a decent clip, but most of the time, the tips/emails don’t pan out…until now. Here’s something for you regarding a certain well-known agency where someone is allegedly faking the funk on a nasty dunk (to quote Shaq, circa 1992). Fill in the blanks as you will:

“_________ has recently allowed a new hire to report to work with his “service dog” although the dog isn’t registered as a service dog (HR never bothered to check!), the employee has no physical disability and the dog remains off leash and given free run of the agency (even insofar as going between floors alone via the intra-floor spiral staircases).  Employees who voice any dissent are quickly silenced; obviously the offender is a senior executive.”

Blind Item: Which Agency May Be Shutting Somewhere Not in the North?


It’s been several hours and seemingly 1,000 days since we posted a blind item, but might as well celebrate mid-week by dusting this category off. Apparently, one much-hyped agency is in trouble. We’re looking into it, but you can draw you own conclusions from this seemingly worried tipster’s comments (and we’ve heard this before about this certain joint). Time to play Mad Libs:

“________ office of _________ (formerly ______) has no clients, and no work, and should be shutting down in the next month.  Remaining staff told to go find jobs.  A classic case of a horribly-run office, short-sighted strategy of execs, and incompetent ostrich’s-head-in-the-sand management.  It didn’t have to be this way – classic mistakes were made.”

 

 

Blind Item: Follow Me into the Dark

It has been a long while since we dusted the Blind Item section off, right? Pardon my redundant statement, but let’s cut all the pretense and bullshit and let’s get down with it Thanks as always, tipsters:

________ and _______  have left to follow [executive creative director]  _______   to ______.  There have been many creatives to leave ______  in the last year and a half. Many theorize that it has something to do with a certain ECD. But it could just be the endless all-nighters and weekends that are expected of employees there with little to no reward.

Who wants to take this on? Ready….steady….go!

Blind Item: Amore at a Soiree Features Married CEO, Staffer

Holy crap, has it really been three months since we’ve  posted a blind item? Come on ad industry, you’re more debaucherous than this. Anyhow, we dust off the category yet again to bring you this doozy and yell TGIF to the heavens in the process. A tipster tells us:

“unpopular, married with children, drunk ceo at ________, caught making out with hottie staffer at offsite party. shots and booze paid for by ceo. many witnesses and pics on camera phones. people shocked. now said staffer no longer works at company. paid off $$ to quietly resign. signed gag order. as did her husband. all staffers in attendance at party called in to hr next day. told not to discuss what they saw or know. not making this up. everyone at agency knows about it. just ask someone there that you already get tips from. this guy really f’d up. [now] he’s trying to cover his tracks. oops, too late.”

Hasn’t there been at least a billion guides to etiquette at an office party? For shame, agency executive, for shame. Who done it? You take your pick.

Blind Item: Which Agency Exec Keeps Blabbing that Denny’s Account is ‘In the Bag?’

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A spy sent us this little ditty this afternoon, which reads, “…this X-McCann New Biz guy is running around telling people that he and his new agency have the Denny’s account win in the bag. Quite presumptuous being that the finals haven’t even started yet…. Wonder who that could be.”

Well, technically, the finalists have already been named though, and the list includes BBDO, Gotham, KBS+P and Greenville, SC-based IPG shop Erwin-Penland. But someone’s still jumping the gun a bit, eh?

Anyhow, whichever agency comes out on top for the diner chain’s $60 million account will succeed Goodby, which parted ways with Denny’s after just 18 months earlier this summer.

More: “Denny’s Apologizes for Offensive Ad

Agency Tales: The Dog and Pony Show Can Be Demanding

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So, AgencySpy recently met up with an old friend of ours from a notable digital shop who tells us of a recent proposed get-together that never occurred thanks to the lofty demands of an agency that’s part of the WPP family.

According to our source, the shop’s new business development staffer reached out to introduce himself to the agency and mentioned, “maybe we should get together…do a presentation…the normal dog and pony show. Turns out the entry to do a dog and pony show for them (a place that needs help and partners) [is] we have to come to them and bring food…bring your own food and pitch!.”

After thinking about it, the shop came back and proposed that the agency come to them and the former would buy lunch. The agency replied and said they can’t come to the shop because it’s too difficult to get two dozen people to travel. Instead, the agency said let’s still do it at their office and the shop would still have to pay for lunch–though the agency did recommend caterers.

“Lol. So all we have to do is order lunch for 26? The balls on these people!,” an internal email from the shop’s biz dev person read. “Talk about not getting it,” our source adds. Ladies and gentlemen, please start your guessing engines now.

More: “Agency Tales: One Producer’s Air-Conditioned Nightmare

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