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Cramer-Krasselt

Here’s the Latest on C-K, Burlington’s Relationship

Nearly five years after winning the creative ad duties for Burlington Coat Factory, we’ve received confirmation that Cramer-Krasselt’s New York office is no longer working with said client. In fact, we’ve been told that C-K has not been working on the business for the past two months and when asked to participate in the review, the agency declined. C-K picked up the biz in 2008 after BCF worked in-house on creative for nearly a year.

Interestingly enough, though, we’re getting word from those familiar that the agency’s NY branch, which has been opened for nearly a decade, only did project work involving concepting creative for BCF and that C-K did not produce actual creative, just handled production (Updated: BCF actually handled production). We’re trying to get some clarification from Burlington Coat Factory on the matter. We’ll keep you posted.

Vera Bradley, Cramer-Krasselt Part Ways After Just a Few Months

Four months after being appointed as the first national integrated agency for Vera Bradley without a review, Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt’s relationship with the 30-year-old luggage/handbag/accessories brand has come to an end. Sources familiar with the matter tell us that C-K, which was tapped to handle advertising, brand strategy and PR among other things for Vera Bradley, was working on a national product launch that was planned for the Indiana-based brand next year.

But after completing a launch plan and working with existing Vera Bradley agencies in Indiana, sources say that C-K was cut due to VB taking aspects of the launch program internally and choosing to continue working with existing agencies. From what we’ve been told, internal changes and budget considerations at Vera Bradley both played major roles in the company’s decision.

Green to Take Over as C-K Chicago ECD

It’s been a few months since we’ve heard from Cramer-Krasselt Chicago, so perhaps it’s worth checking in, especially considering the agency is making some changes to its creative leadership. C-K  has hired one Derek Green as the new ECD of its Windy City HQ. Green joins from Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland, where he served as chief creative officer for the last three years and was responsible for clients ranging from Orange to Novartis (he picked up a Gold Lion at Cannes last year for work on the latter).

Prior to his top creative post at Saatchi, Green worked as a a copywriter at the Sydney offices of both JWT and Leo Burnett during his career. It’ll be a while, though, before Green makes the transition from Geneva to Chicago as he won’t officially be taking the ECD reins at C-K until August. When he arrives, he’ll be taking over for Kevin Flatt, who joined C-K two years ago and will shift to the newly created position of SVP, digital and design director at the agency.

 

C-K Chicago Takes a Ride with Cedar Fair

After a review, Cramer-Krasselt Chicago has been tapped to handle the estimated $50 million integrated account for Cedar Fair, the amusement/water park company that runs the likes of Cedar Point and Knott’s Berry Farm. As both advertising and PR AOR for Cedar Fair, C-K will tackle everything from branding/advertising and digital/retail to media buying/planning and social media for all ten of the brand’s amusement parks in the U.S.

Expect Cramer-Krasselt’s first efforts for Cedar Fair to break next spring. Prior to C-K, Pittsburgh-based Yellow Submarine (which was formed by MARC USA alums) served as creative AOR while PR was handled internally.

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Art Director Gives Prints to Chicago Marathon Sponsors

If you live in Chicago and don’t live on a shack built several miles offshore in the middle Lake Michigan, odds are you know of someone who will be running in the 26.2-mile long Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9. Really, is there anything more annoying than someone humble-bragging about how much work it takes to be in such good shape before asking you to donate money to their cause? That is, unless you have someone like Cramer-Krasselt AD Brandon Knowlden working at your office.

Knowlden is actually giving something to those willing to sponsor his race, and those who donate will get their choice of one of three pretty awesome personalized prints representing training for the marathon, running the marathon and finishing the marathon. Knowlden’s training sessions are broken into short, medium and long runs, and interested parties will sponsor $30, $40 and $50 for these runs respectively, with all proceeds going to the American Liver Foundation. Each print will come with the sponsor’s name and the distance and the average speed Knowlden ran.

One person who sponsors the marathon itself for $100 gets all three prints. If you’re a Chicagoan and like reppin’ your hometown’s flag and skyline, any of these prints would look great framed in your house. I don’t know this guy, but I’m donating for the print and the story behind it. Donate to Knowlden’s run here.

This One Time at Camp Krasselt…

Another summer means another batch of interns at Cramer-Krasselt Chicago and another edition of “Camp Krasselt,” where young advertisers from around the globe converge on the Windy City. There will be advertising, there will be drama, there will be high-pressure deadlines and maybe, if we’re lucky, there will be some romance mixed in too.

The 10 campers at Camp Krasselt hail from all over the world and range from young 19-year-old account manager Caroline Lendl from the University of Alabama all the way to seasoned 28-year-old copywriter Marty Muthuswami of Port Huron, Michigan. Some advice for this new batch of campers: don’t drink from the Chicago River unless you want to risk growing another limb, the term “flash-mob” means something entirely different in Chicago, and what happens at ad camp stays at ad camp.

After Alleged C-K ‘Walk Out,’ Mandelbaum Finds New Gig

We’ve often wondered, when we’re alone at night before we go to sleep, where former Cramer-Krasselt “digital innovation director” Brian Mandelbaum could have gone after he allegedly “just picked up and left” his post at C-K and fled into the cold Chicago night. Yes, that Brian Mandelbaum, the one of reality show fame and studly Hollywood good looks – the man who once danced with Wyclef Jean and was fired by Donald Trump for being late. Where would this ad veteran with over a decade of industry experience under his belt go to next?

Well, he’s joining AdoTube as vice president of platform development in the company’s Chicago office. What’s AdoTube? We’re glad you asked. AdoTube is “a complete in-stream/in-video solution that enables each part of the industry (agencies, advertisers and publishers) to have easy and efficient access to in-stream ads.” We’re left to wonder, is this move away from agencies permanent for Mandelbaum? Or, is he just taking a much-needed break after a career that’s included stints at C-K, Saatchi & Saatchi and Razorfish? While you’re left deep in thought, here’s Mandelbaum and Wyclef to hold you over.

We Hear: Brian Mandelbaum Out at C-K Chicago?

A slew of anonymous tips in our inboxes all said that Brian Mandelbaum, Cramer-Krasselt Chicago’s VP, Digital Innovations Director “just walked out the door.” Mandelbaum, who rose to fame outside the ad industry as a contestant on season 4 of The Apprentice, had come to C-K from Saatchi & Saatchi in 2008. He worked as a VP,  group director of digital media and strategy until he assumed his current role in January of this year.

A phone call to C-K led to some confused murmuring, a full voice mailbox, more confused murmuring and some guy named Dylan who had no idea how we got his number and then dumped us off to the voice mailbox from SVP Bridget Stack. Then, we received what we believe to be an internal memo from Stack. Read the full memo below.

Update: We just got official word that Mandelbaum is “no longer with C-K Chicago.”

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C-K Phoenix Announces Melamed Successor

Today, Cramer-Krasselt Phoenix is promoting former SVP of marketing strategy, Kristin Bloomquist, to EVP/GM, and as a result, she’ll assume the role of retiring 30-year industry veteran, John Melamed.

During his 20-year tenure at C-K in their Phoenix and Milwaukee offices, Melamed worked on clients ranging from the Blue Man Group to the University of Phoenix to Cox Communications. Before C-K, Melamed spent nine years at Hoffman York.

As for Bloomquist, who joined C-K Phoenix in 2009, the exec’s industry experience includes a decade working at Deustch as partner director of account management, where she helped open the agency’s Los Angeles office and worked with clients like Coors, Experdia, TGI Fridays, Burger King and Direct TV. She’s also had stints at DDB NY and J. Walter Thompson in Chicago.

C-K president/CEO Peter Krivkovich wished Melamed well in a statement, saying, “We’re going to miss him as he revs up his Harley. But knowing John, he’ll keep circling back and checking on Kristin, who is every bit like John, just without a Harley.” The office also surprised Melamed with a series of billboards placed around the Phoenix area. Ok, the graphics could use some help, but one follows after the jump.

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Anne Bologna to Head C-K’s NYC Office

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Just over three months after Toy New York shut down operations, we’ve learned that the agency’s co-founder Anne Bologna has wound up as EVP/GM of Cramer-Krasselt’s New York office.

While her old cohort Ari Merkin rejoined his buddies at Crispin, Bologna will replace Jeff Johnson at C-K. After four years in the EVP/GM post, Johnson is relocating to the West Coast and getting the hell out of the advertising biz to focus on his work as a psychologist, consultant and author.

In a statement, Bologna says, “Cramer-Krasselt was the perfect fit for me at the perfect time. Even as one of the largest independent agencies in the U.S., C-K acts like a start-up. It’s entrepreneurial and collaborative, with the benefits of highly integrated resources and a reputation for very smart creative. Basically, it’s everything an agency should be today, which means nothing stands in the way of creating the right solutions for clients. Truth be told, I consider this one of the best jobs in advertising.”

More: “Kevin Flatt Promoted to ECD at Cramer Krasselt Chicago

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