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Campbell Ewald

Campbell Ewald Has New CEO, Rebrands

Well, we guess this is notable enough to merit a separate non-Stir post. So yeah, as you may have read this morning, there’s a changing of the guard at IPG-owned Detroit stalwart Campbell Ewald, which has not only welcomed a new CEO, but has joined the global Lowe network. As a result, the new entity will now be known as, yes, Lowe Campbell Ewald and will be led by Jim Palmer, who has been with CE for over 20 years and most recently served as its vice chairman/chief client officer.

As you can gather, Palmer (pictured) is taking over for 31-year Campbell Ewald vet Bill Ludwig, who we’ve been hearing for weeks was no longer with the agency, which was repeatedly telling us otherwise. Along with Palmer assuming the top post, CE president Kathleen Donald will take on the role of chief operating officer and add more management responsibilities. Regarding Ludwig’s departure, IPG chairman/CEO Michael Roth says in a statement, “Bill Ludwig is leaving the agency poised for growth. We wish him well and thank him for his many contributions to the agency over a 31-year career, including putting in place a new generation of management that understands contemporary integrated marketing and the digital landscape.” According to the CE camp, Ludwig could still work in some capacity with IPG.

Hmm, So CE Chief Ludwig Appears to Be Out After All

Well, isn’t that something. Less than a week after sources familiar with the matter told us that the Campbell Ewald executive team “remains in place” following the agency winning Cadillac account management duties, AdAge today echoes what many tipsters were saying prior to the win, that chairman/CEO Bill Ludwig is out. Since June 6, we’ve been hearing on the Spy Line that Ludwig (and possibly one other member of the executive team) was literally shown the door days prior to CE securing its portion of said automaker’s account. AdAge, though, merely reports that Ludwig has “stepped down.”

Ludwig, who still toplines CE’s leadership section on its site, has been with the Detroit stalwart for the duration of his 30-year ad career, starting as a copywriter before moving up the ranks to chief creative/strategy officer to his most recent position at the top of the agency’s food chain. We’ll try to get some comment from Campbell Ewald if possible and will update if and when we can.

Update: The same sources familiar with CE that we talked to last week tell us that “nothing’s changed” since last week, so yeah, consider us confused.

Hill Holliday Can Rest Easy Today

Yes, we saw the news when it first broke. Sorry if we were lagging on this, folks, but we were looking into another facet of the big Cadillac news today that wasn’t mentioned. Anyhow, what more can we say that hasn’t been reported already regarding the automaker’s decision. Well, save for the fact that despite what tipsters have been saying ad nauseum regarding the status of certain higher-ups at Campbell Ewald, sources familiar with the matter us tell us that the executive team at said agency “remains in place.”

Anyhow, if you were MIA this morning, the Crain committee including AdAge has reported that GM has finally made its decision and has expanded its relationship with IPG (McCann took over on Chevy-focused Commonwealth in March, if you recall), tapping a handful of its agencies (dubbed collectively as, ugh, Rogue) to assume ad duties on the Cadillac business. Among those in the mix are Hill Holliday, which saw its longtime Liberty Mutual go into review but will now handle creative/strategy (even steven, we say), while CE will handle account management and Lowe will take on digital/creative export for the brand. You know the rest of the story for now, but we’ll keep checking on the rest of what we hear.

Campbell Ewald Wants Your Help Naming Baby Falcon

Either Detroit’s Campbell Ewald office doesn’t have enough to do, or they’ve really become besotted by the baby Peregrine falcon on their roof. Probably a bit of both. Several years ago, a C-E employee built a nesting box on the roof of the office in hopes that a pair of falcons would land. Two lucky birds made a fortuitous choice, and the team has since been tracking the eggs, and now junior falcons. We reported on the resulting campaign back in May.

One of the young’uns didn’t make it, but the surviving baby is beginning to flap her little wings. Now she needs a name, and CE is asking her devoted fans to submit their favorites. The deadline for submission is Monday, June 10, after which time the CE team will vote to determine the winner. A $1,000 donation will be made to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in honor of the person who suggests the winning name.

This bird is rare and adorable and fluffy, so you better do her justice. Check up on her progress at Campbell Ewald’s dedicated Tumblr. [Ed: And yes, we are looking into the tips we've been receiving about said agency]

C-E Creates Tumblr, Meme Generator and More in Honor of, Yes, Two Expecting Falcons

Yep, it’s basically just as silly as it sounds. From what we’ve been told, this campaign from Detroit’s own Campbell-Ewald has been years in the making and concerns two adult peregrine falcons, which currently have three nest eggs about to hatch on the roof of the agency’s current Warren, MI headquarters. The campaign’s origins date back several years when C-E employee Paul Lenney (who serves as property manager) decided to construct and install a nest box on the agency’s rooftop in the hopes that a pair would land and ultimately reside up top.

Well, it took nearly a decade, and Campbell-Ewald has decided to celebrate this auspicious event (we think) with a web-based onslaught led by group digital CD Iain Lanivich that includes a Tumblr site, livestream footage, a birthdate pool, the Twitter hashtag #CEfalcons and even a meme generator (thanks for the personalized pic). Too bad we’re just stuck with a multitude of less-exotic pigeons here in NYC.

SXSWi Leftovers: Shaq Leaves Smooth Message for C-E Digital CD’s Wife

Back under gray skies here in NYC, our SXSWi memories wind down today with a little ditty courtesy of the one and only Shaquille O’Neal, the former NBA star/current TNT b-ball analyst and Buick pitchman who, for entertainment sakes, made this call to the wife of Campbell-Ewald group digital creative director, Iain Lanivich. Of course, we’re sure the cheery mood was buoyed not just by the Big Aristotle, but the word that the C-E is on the verge of winning Cadillac. We inquired about this last week, and didn’t hear word, but have been hearing that the Cadillac deal was imminent for almost six weeks. Now that it’s been made public via AdAge and others, it appears to be the case, though no one’s talking as evidenced by said trade’s post. We’ve hit the same wall on inquiries, but here’s one interesting tipster’s note, from March 7.

“The only reason Cambell Ewald is moving Downtown is because they are getting the Cadillac Ad account. GM demaded that if they get the account they MUST move downtown. It’s a done deal, the current agency Fallon is located in Minn. and GM is making this move SOON!”

Not sure that’s the “only reason,” but if it goes through, it’s a reunion of sorts between GM and Campbell-Ewald, which as we all recall lost the Chevy business after 91 years in early 2010.

Here Are Some More Details About C-E’s New Detroit Digs


Now that Campbell-Ewald CEO Bill Ludwig‘s press conference is likely over, we’ve received a few more details to follow up our Morning Stir mention regarding the IPG agency’s move back to Detroit after spending the last 35 years in Warren, MI.

Yes, there are now illustrations (above) of what the new space is expected look like once the purported 600 C-E staffers move in at the beginning of 2014. As mentioned already in the Detroit Free Press this morning, Campbell-Ewald Detroit will be located in the old J.L. Hudson Warehouse at Ford Field, which sources add has never been occupied since it was opened as part of the Detroit Lions’ home turf in 2002  (the original idea back then, we hear, was to create a complex of business/entertainment/dining). C-E staff will occupy five floors in the space.

Here’s a statement today from Ludwig: “This is a historical and defining moment for CE. Detroit is a hotbed of aspiring creative and entrepreneurial talent and we want to be part of that energy, and participate in the city’s comeback. With this space, we will bring our employees together in a collaborative, idea-inspiring atmosphere that fuels creative energy which will result in game-changing ideas for our clients. CE was founded in Detroit 102 years ago, and this is where we want to spend the next 102 years.”

Campbell-Ewald’s big announcement comes on the heels of the agency winning global creative/brand strategy duties for Zipcar and another account win is expected to be announced soon.


Following $500 Million Acquisition, Zipcar Aligns with Campbell-Ewald

Following a string of setbacks pertaining to USPS-related cuts, creative director departures, warts and all, Detroit’s own Campbell-Ewald has some good news to report, mainly that it’s been named brand strategy/creative partner for Zipcar, the car rental brand that was bought up by Avis Budget Group for $500 million at the beginning of this year.

Spending is not being disclosed on the C-E/Zipcar deal, but agency CMO Barbara Yolles sounds excited, saying in a statement, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Zipcar during such an exciting time in the company’s growth. Zipcar is such a hot brand, truly redefining the way people think about mobility. We look forward to making an impact by helping them achieve their global business goals through brand strategy and creative efforts.”

New work from Campbell-Ewald for Zipcar is slated to launch in Spring 2013. From what we’re hearing in the tipstersphere, C-E beat out the likes of Deutsch, CP+B, Digitas, Arnold and Wieden & Kennedy for the biz. The incumbent was Full Contact in Boston.

Update: The Deutsch camp says it was NOT involved. Who else will rise up?

We Hear: Clarey Out at Campbell-Ewald?

All we’ve received from this is a “no comment” from the Campbell-Ewald camp, but you can take that for what it’s worth. We’ve received a few tips that John Clarey, who’s spent over a quarter-century at the Detroit agency and most recently served as SVP design/creative director, is no longer at C-E. Clarey has spent pretty much his entire ad career at the agency, working on several efforts as an art director, group director, art, etc. for the long since gone Chevy account among others. We’ve been told Clarey wasn’t the only one affected, but we’ll look into it.

We Hear: In Wake of USPS Decision, C-E Cuts Staff? (Updated)

Well, this was bound to happen if totally legit, but since yesterday, we’ve received multiple notes from spies telling us that Campbell Ewald let go of several staffers this week (we’re hearing anywhere from 25-50) as a result of the U.S. Postal Service’s decision not to renew its contract with the Motor City stalwart once it expires at month’s end.

As is per usual with any sort of C-E feedback (or lack thereof) unless it’s positive, of course, we’re getting nowhere with the agency after putting in multiple emails and phone calls. Last we reported, Campbell Ewald’s relationship with the USPS hasn’t completely been extinguished, though, as the former has been invited to participate in the latter’s upcoming RFP’s. Since yesterday, spies have been telling us about Facebook posts regarding people “saying goodbye to some friends at C-E,” but we’ll keep digging on this to get some sort of clarification. If you have more on this, feel free to chime in in comments or hit us up at agencyspy [at] mediabistro [dot] com.

Update: Another source familiar with the matter has chimed in to say that the C-E cuts weren’t just made due to USPS, but in order hit certain dollar figures, so people that have never worked on USPS are being let go. From what we’ve been told  senior planners, account and digital folks, not to mention the head of the biz, have been affected. The alleged number has now been increased to 50-60.