We’ve received confirmation of tips we’ve received that both Claudia Richman and Chetan Bokariya, formerly SVP/regional operations director for San Francisco/Chicago and VP/architect, mobile technology, respectively, are no longer with DigitasLBi. From what we’ve been told, Richman actually departed a few weeks ago while Bokariya’s last day is today. The former is now working on her own consultancy after spending 15 months at Digitas. During her career, Richman had fairly lengthy senior-level stints at Tribal DDB and Energy BBDO. Bokariya, meanwhile spent a couple of years on the technical side at Publicis Groupe’s mobile unit, Phonevalley before joining DigitasLBi.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Chris Reed, who’s spent the last eight years at Energy BBDO, has moved over t0 DigitasLBi’s Chicago office, where he now serves as EVP/account management. Reed now heads up the account team on DigitasLBi’s Whirlpool account as well as Maytag and Kitchen Aid. From what we’ve been told, Reed assumed his new post as of last week. Along with his lengthy stint at Energy BBDO, the account exec also spent a couple of years at Y&R during his career.
This little tidbit trickled into the tips box over the weekend and now, sources familiar with the matter confirm that Brian Nienhaus, who’s spent the last year as SVP/account management and Team Sprint relationship lead at DigitasLBi Chicago, will soon be leaving his post. From what we’ve been told by sources, Nienhaus is going to “explore other [opportunities] within agency and the broader holding company.”
As a result, he’ll be succeeded come mid-November by Davin Power, who has served as EVP/global client services director for nearly two years on SC Johnson at fellow Chicago-based agency, Energy BBDO. Power, a 20-year ad vet, has had fairly lengthy stints on the account management side at the likes of O&M New York, Havas Worldwide NY and Grey prior to joining . As for Nienhaus, the account exec had similar roles at similar notable agencies including Y&R, JWT, Grey SF and Cramer-Krasselt during his 25-year career.
As you may have heard this morn, Lincoln Bjorkman, who moved up to the big chair as CCO of Digitas North America three-and-a-half years ago, will join Wunderman effective Nov. 11 and report to Wunderman chairman and CEO Daniel Morel. In his new role, Bjorkman will oversee the creative efforts of 60 offices in 170 countries for clients including Coke, Shell, Land Rover, Microsoft, Nokia, and Dell among others. According to the Wunderman camp, Bjorkman is only the second global creative director in Wunderman’s history. London’s Steve Harrison first served in the role (2006-2007). Anyhow, the unicorn whisperer that is Tony Weisman, CEO of DigitasLBi North America, reflects for a bit on Bjorkman’s departure below:
“Lincoln Bjorkman shared with me that after ten remarkable years with us, he has decided to leave DigitasLBi for another agency. He will be with us for a couple of more weeks.
What to say, what to write.
When I look for writing inspiration, I often pull up Lincoln’s famous emails. Each shares a piece of news worth writing about. Each written with an artful dose of humor that brings smiles across our faces. Each frothy with authenticity and love for the subject. Each uniquely Lincoln.
I won’t talk about Lincoln’s credentials. They stand like skyscrapers on their own. And, anyone who knows Lincoln knows well that the very last thing he likes to do is praise himself. He much prefers giving the warm spotlight to others. Again, uniquely Lincoln.
Instead, I simply want to say thanks to our resident gentleman, soulful writer, exceptional creative talent, music lover, tireless perfectionist, rock star manager, artist, a tennis player with an awesome forehand, and champion of our formidable creative team that he helped build, nurture and grow. I want to thank Lincoln for making “the work, the work, the work” at the center of why we come to the office every day. I want to thank Lincoln for elevating our creative muscle earning us award-winning, record breaking creative streaks.
Lincoln, you crushed it at DigitasLBi. We’re just sayin’.
Our very, very best to you.
CEO, North America”
“Dear Digitas, this will be my farewell, even though I’m gone, I’ll always hope that you fare well” is the poetic hook in this hip-hop farewell from an as-yet-unknown staffer who’s obviously moving on–but not without waxing nostalgic about account management, making sandwiches in the break room and other hardcore shit. Our lyrical genius even has a sidekick who sings the hook, just for added dramatic flair we imagine. Should Digitas–sorry, DigitasLBi–be flattered or embarrassed by this sentimental shout-out? We’re not sure, but somehow, we made it to the very end, though not without a little chuckle here and there. See if you can do the same while we just sit here crossing our fingers that this heralds an agency rapper renaissance.
If the name Jeff Maerov, doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you might better know him from his his output over five years at Draftfcb Orange County, where he served as SVP/GCD on, what else, Taco Bell. On said account, Maerov helped lead creative on campaigns including the “Live Mas” rebranding and the subsequent “Operation: Alaska” effort. Well, the creative exec has now moved on and went eastbound (not down) to DigitasLBi, where he has now assumed the same title in the agency’s Boston office. In his new role, Maerov will lead creative teams on clients including Goodyear, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more, reporting to DigitasLBi Boston/Detroit ECD Rob Rizzo in the process.
During his career, Maerov also tallied a decade’s worth of work over two stints as a creative at Y&R New York and even penned his own children’s book Boca Buddies on the side.
It’s that time of year again: the annual 4A’s Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies (IAAS) contest is here, meaning up-and-coming creatives will get a chance to put their education to work for some lucky new clients. This year, however, the client will be a startup. And for any Boston-area startup looking for some free and improved publicity, you can enter here. A committee will whittle the entries down to four finalists. The four finalists will then have to create a pitch that tells a unique story about why that startup should be selected. There will be a live event and then an after-party and then booze. And then, voila. Advertising.
The contest, like most similar competitions, gives off some whiffs of free young-people labor, but that might not be all that upsetting or unusual in the startup world. The deadline for initial entries is October 1.
Yes, we have a couple DigitasLBI execs that have left the branch. According to spokeperson for the agency, Rich Tobin, SVP of operations for North America, and Paul Gorrell, chief talent officer for North America have resigned from the agency in the last week. No word on Tobin’s exact dates, but we’ve been told that Gorrell’s last dayis September 30. Regarding Tobin, Digitas says, he’s leaving to “join Waltham, MA called Lionbridge. Over the last 13 years he’s been an exemplary employee, and we wish him nothing but the best in this next phase of his career.”
Meanwhile, we’ve been told that Gorrell is leaving to focus on his talent management and career development consultancy. No word yet on the title, but we’ve been told by Digitas that “we wish him the very best in the continuation of his impressive career.”
For the pre-launch and launch phases of the new Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos (DLT), DigitasLBi created an ambitious digital and social campaign involving young YouTube influencers. Taco Bell gave chosen creators early access to the new flavor and, 13 days later, incorporated the resulting videos in the official flavor launch. Of those video creators, the top 20 were chosen to compete in a second challenge: in 24 hours, they had to complete the entire filmmaking process, culminating in a promo centered on “taking a bite of the new DLT.”
It’s an interesting idea: harness the audiences of independent YouTube stars, gaining social media cred and creative content in the process. In practice, it’s less impressive. Watching the creator content, I had flashbacks to high school health class, when we had to make video PSAs about safe sex. Every Taco Bell “spot” has the same contrived, amateurish feel.The Alexa Losey Flip Book was cute, and “Selena Stalker” was fun mostly due to the actor’s hoodie and his little eating sounds. Otherwise, color me bored. Even reading this campaign’s press release left me overwhelmed and uninterested – if Digitas wants to build excitement around a fiery flavor, they should at least tell Taco Bell’s audience where to look. They could have hired three ambitious YouTubers, given them a bigger budget, and created actual worthwhile entertainment instead of clogging the space with cobbled-together content.
As you may recall, a few weeks ago, the Publicis Groupe agency now known as DigitasLBi unveiled a new logo complete with a unicorn (see Vine intro clip below). Despite a few folks scratching their heads about it, DigitasLBi apparently remains undeterred in celebrating their new magical, mystical mascot as you can see above. The image was posted on Facebook earlier this week and features DigitasLBi North America CEO Tony Weisman and, yes, a pony dolled up as a unicorn. You can just feel the enthusiasm though none more so than from the guy dressed like a conductor standing behind them. Where was our invite? Anyways, happy Friday!