Despite launching a new website and proclaiming it’s filled with “hundreds of diverse minds rattling,” Campbell is still bleeding staff from what we hear. Multiple sources are now telling us that Michael McCallum (pictured), an interactive CD who’s worked on U.S. Navy and other accounts, has resigned and is headed for fellow Detroit shop Doner. Why are we getting this sense of deja vu? McCallum, who’s spent the last three years at C-E isn’t the only apparently leaving, though, from what spies are saying. We’re checking in on these others as well as with Doner to find out McCallum’s status.
Despite some staffing issues and major account losses as of late, Detroit stalwart Campbell Ewald is remaining optimistic, at least according to its new website. The tagline reads, “We’re not just an agency. We’re hundreds of diverse minds rattling as one.”
We’re sure some folks might differ with the boast, but nonetheless, the new C-E site features the usual tidbits such as work, background and events listings as well as a tie-in with AdAge. Hey, at least it’s an improvement over its archaic design that lingered for years. What do you think? Good, bad, useless?
Last we heard from Campbell Ewald, which was not that long ago, we were faced with stark allegations that the Detroit stalwart was back to the size it was during the late 90′s. Since that time, we’ve come to learn that two more higher-ups have parted ways with C-E, namely Susan Logar Brody and Tracie Reihm. Logar Brody (pictured) was a 20-year Campbell Ewald vet, moving from direct response writer all the way up to EVP/ECD several years ago. The exec has now revived her own social CRM-driven operation called Susan Logar Ltd., which she initially launched in the late 80′s and ran for five years before joining C-E.
As for Reihm, who was EVP/managing director at Campbell Ewald, we’ve been told by tipsters that she “retired.” Reihm had been with Ewald for well over 25 years. When we called C-E, we were told there was no listing for Reihm in the agency directory.
When there’s no time to do the math, let the tiperazzi do it for you. Here’s the latest scoop coming from the Campbell-Ewald pipeline: “CE has now broomed or ‘retired’ most of its lead direct marketing/CRM staff. In addition, latest estimates place the total number of 2-year layoffs and terminations at more than 600. The shop is now the size it was in 1997.” Tis was the year that Tony Hopp took over as chairman of the Warren, MI-based agency and ushered in 10 initiatives for C-E. Of course, the Chevy loss last year took its toll and following Hopp’s departure in 2009, things have never been quite the same.
Here’s a quick stroll down memory lane: “We Hear: Layoffs at Campbell-Ewald,” “We Hear: Layoffs Have Begun at Campbell-Ewald,” “Campbell-Ewald’s Latest Mandate to Laid-Off Employees,” “We Hear: Steven Pitsillos, Others Out at C-E.”
No rest for the wicked during “Snowpocalypse 2010″ as a few different sources have let us know over the last several days that Campbell-Ewald unit Velocity will lose the Chevy tier two dealer business by April 1, 2011. We’re being told that the business is shifting from the IPG shop over to an Omnicom agency, perhaps Retail 3, which the latter holding launched in March of this year.
We hear C-E CEO Bill Ludwig has announced the news to the Velocity staff and GM informed the dealers. According to Adweek, Velocity handles Chevy dealer business (worth $200m according to spies) spanning 3,000 dealers in 105 markets. We’re checking with Velocity on this, but suffice to say, it’s been somewhat of a rough patch heading into the holidays for the C-E camp, having endured major layoffs earlier this month already.
Update: Well, in an interesting turn of events, we received this statement and we’re checking with Velocity on the validity of it:
“Effective April 1, 2011, Velocity Marketing will become Agency 720 and operate under the Omnicom organization. U.S. International Media will support Agency 720 for Chevy LMA media buying responsibilities. Dan Fletcher is the Chief Executive Officer of Agency 720, and many of the Velocity employees you work with today will transition to Agency 720.
Chevrolet made the announcement this morning to all of the LMA presidents. So, it’s business as usual, and we will continue to support the Chevy LMAs and Velocity Marketing through March 31, then Agency 720 beginning April 1 with the same intensity and passion as we have for the past two years.”
We’ve been told by various spies that there will be cuts made at Campbell-Ewald today, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since two months ago, we received tips such as this: “CE Lay-off notice’s sent – December 15th – Severance package – 2 months pay – regardless of years of service.” We’ve been told it’s a “bloodbath” and while this term has been used rather loosely by our sources in the past, it could apply to this agency, which of course has continued to feel the ripple effects of losing Chevy.
In October, C-E (which did at least nab the Chicken of the Sea account last week) let go of several staffers including EVP Steve Pitsillos. No numbers have been revealed as of yet, but we’re checking with the agency directly, but if you have more details, send over to agencyspy[at]gmail.com.
It appears that Campbell-Ewald’s Chevy loss to Publicis (which held it rather briefly) earlier this year is catching up with the Detroit shop as numerous sources are telling us that they’ve let go of several staffers, among them, EVP, director of integrated content development Steven Pitsillos (pictured). According to one source, “The Divisional Chevy Team appears to have kept only 2 teams. CRM and digital kept some too. But it was a bloodbath. Account was also notified.”
Pitsillos has been with C-E since 2005, starting as an ECD on the Chevy business and moving up the ranks over the years. When we called the Detroit office, we were told there was “no listing” for him in the agency’s directory. We’ve emailed folks at Campbell-Ewald directly to find out more about this. Stay tuned..
Though his LinkedIn profile still currently lists him as EVP/ECD at Campbell-Ewald, we can now safely say that Dennis Lim is no longer with the Detroit-based agency. A call to C-E confirmed that Lim was out of his post as of last week while numerous tipsters have been telling us various accounts that he was either fired or he jetted off to France and no one’s heard from him since. Of course, this is still hearsay.
Lim joined Campbell-Ewald in 2008 and prior to that, he was a creative director for several years at Publicis & Hal Riney and Chiat. We hear that C-E’s Chevy loss had plenty to do with it.
AdWeek has now reported what we’ve already been hearing throughout the morning from our sources, that Campbell-Ewald is losing most if not all of the Chevy account to Publicis. We’ve yet to hear back from our Publicis insider for confirmation on this, but it seems quite plausible considering that the agency’s Seattle and Dallas already took some Chevy work away from Warren, MI-based C-E last December. According to AW, revenue on the Chevy creative account is estimated at $20-30 million. We hope to hear more on this as the day progresses.
Update: The agency is holding an all company meeting at 2 pm to discuss this news, we hear. Gulp.
Update 2: Looks like our tipsters weren’t too far off with that 2pm company meeting time as Crain’s Detroit Business has now confirmed the agency is moving its remaining Chevy business out and over to Publicis, thus ending a 90-year relationship with the brand.
At an all company meeting yesterday, Campbell Ewald‘s
Vice Chairman/Chief Creative Officer President/CEO Bill Ludwig explains the new logo and tag-line (“starting the conversation”). Apparently, he got to former tattooed on his arm, which will be awkward if the agency decides to change things up. Anyway, we want proof! Update It’s true (according to the agency’s Facebook wall)! See pic after the jump.
Also, the shop is getting rid of VP, SVP and EVP titles — which means people are like, bummed that they’re just “normal” now. A former Campbell employee commented, “But they have all these extra Vs and Ps sitting around! What the hell will they do with them: hire the entire Van Patten clan (from Dick to Vince)?” No no, that’s not in the budget.