Yes, that’s the word on the street/tips line. For the last week, we’ve been hearing that Doug Livingston, who we reported was leaving his post as EVP/director of digital integration, is joining up with McGarryBowen. Now, spies on the ground tell us that it is indeed so, though no title/start date has been disclosed as the usually responsive, Dentsu-owned agency is being unusually quiet about this particular matter. We’re trying to light a fire, but we’ll keep you posted. As mentioned previously, Livingston spent six years in all at Grey and oversaw digital biz dev, recruitment and client assignments while at said agency.
If anyone needs a crash course explaining the differences between American and European cultures, pay attention to this post about taxis. American cabbies are generally considered beasts behind the wheel–especially in New York City, where driving their yellow death machines poorly is not only acceptable, it is encouraged. Cab rides are expensive in American cities, so the drivers try to seduce any possible fare into their jail-like backseats. In Europe, cab drivers are more underdressed chauffeurs than maniacs. The cars are smaller, more energy-efficient, and not always driven by Formula 1 wannabes.
These stereotypes, while not always true, make the latest news out of Dusseldorf, Germany, seem par for the course. Grey Worldwide Dusseldorf and Seat Germany created “The Seat Taxi Fare,” a technology that results in a decreased fare every time a cabbie uses the brakes. In the land of awesome architecture, this brand of savings is acceptable; in America, there would be cabbie riots.
The above video gives viewers a chance to see how passengers responded to “The Brake Energy Recovery System.” From a consumer’s perspective, this campaign is fantastic other than the fact that Seat’s slogan is “Enjoyneering.” After I covered last week’s Nissan Juke n-tec, it may be time to save creatives from themselves with an automotive naming intervention. Credits after the jump.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Doug Livingston, who has spent nearly six years at Grey and was bumped up 15 months ago to EVP, director of digital integration at the New York hub, is leaving the agency for parts unknown (though we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough and we’re hearing it’s perhaps a “big job”). From what we’ve been told by sources, Grey NY is currently recruiting for a replacement for Livingston in its digital unit, which houses 110 or so staffers including directors of technology, operations, analytics and strategy.
During his last stint at Grey as EVP, Livingston oversaw digital assignments within the agency as well as digital biz dev, recruitment, and training & development efforts.
We’ve been hearing murmurs about this since early last week, and now, sources familiar with the matter fill us in on what could transpire in the coming weeks within the WPP umbrella, specifically for G2. From what we’re being told, G2–which currently operates as its own separate unit under WPP despite being born from Grey and aligned under Grey Global Group (the “parent/child” relationship was never really a thing, though, say sources)–is pretty much set to realign under WPP sibling Ogilvy and become an Ogilvy company.
Sources tell us that G2′s move to peel away from Grey has been discussed by all parties involved since late last year, but it’s been stop and start ever since. Tipsters on the Spy line, though, tell us that G2′s purported realignment was already announced at a recent town hall meeting. Whatever the case, G2′s move to Ogilvy’s New York HQ, aka “The Chocolate Factory,” doesn’t seem too far-fetched when you consider that the former’s recently installed USA CEO, Harvey Kipnis, has a relationship with the latter that dates back to 2003. We’ll try to fill in the blanks once we get some clarification and/or confirmation on the matter.
Why should Bacardi hog all the spotlight? Grey New York has found a new chief marketing officer of its own in Jane Reiss, who has spent the last seven years at the City of New York’s official tourism, marketing & partnerships organization, NYC & Company. Reiss, who officially assumes the role of EVP/CMO at Grey NY effective immediately, served in the same role at her last gig, working on local/global tourism marketing outreach, retail, dining and entertainment marketing initiatives and leading biz dev teams for corporate partnerships with clients like AmEx, AT&T, JetBlue and Coca-Cola. Sounds like a busy job.
Now at Grey NY, Reiss will join the agency’s leadership team that president/CCO Tor Myhren and COO Michael Houston (her predecessor on the CMO position). Prior to NYC & Company, the exec spent nearly two decades at NYC full-service agency Margeotes Fertitta & Partners, last serving as managing director/partner.
By now, you’ve probably read or heard about the news that Grey New York has nabbed the Marriott Hotels & Resorts business, which resided with McGarryBowen for nearly a decade. Anyhow, without any pretense, pomp and/or circumstance, Grey NY prez/CCO Tor Myhren and managing director Michael Houston relayed the good news to staff like this:
“We’re going to keep this short and sweet.
Grey just won the Marriott Hotels and Resorts business, beating out mcgarrybowen and JWT in the final round.
Congratulations, people. This is huge.
The news will hit the press shortly.
Stay tuned for celebration details…
Tor and Michael”
Well, the news definitely did hit the press, but thanks to Marriott’s stellar PR work, it didn’t hit our inbox til late in the evening. No need to repost the reasons why Marriott tapped Grey, but the agency did beat out McGB and JWT for the biz. Meanwhile, Marriott’s agency relationships with MEC, Anomaly, Team One and other creative and specialized agencies throughout its global operations were not affected in this review.
From Grey NY comes a new spot for Downy Infusions, the best fabric softener for twirling around the in park with your freshly softened dress. Wait, what kind of creepy park is this where the flowers are dying at such a rapid rate? Despite its beauty, this is not the kind of park an innocent fresh-smelling girl should hang out in by herself.
Anyway, who better to ride up to meet our Downy girl than Isaiah Mustafa? Yes, apparently “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” uses Downy fabric softener on his lavender linens, which is totally forgivable if your man also looks like Isaiah Mustafa but incredibly confusing for the average TV viewer.
So, how did W+K feel about their golden boy being used in a spot by a competing agency? About as well as you’d expect…er, maybe a little worse than you’d expect. According to a source, W+K “demanded” to be on the set for this spot, which is weird considering they don’t exactly own Mustafa, nor are they still using him in Old Spice ads. Is this alleged watch-dogging a byproduct of paranoia, megalomania, or simply a dedicated approach to quality control? Leave your guesses in the comments, and if you have any more information on how this devastatingly awkward-sounding shoot went down, send us a tip!
After three-and-a-half years as SVP, business development at Grey New York, Alex Lubar is moving to McCann to serve as chief marketing officer of North American operations. We’ve obtained a memo sent from Grey NY managing director Michael Houston to staff within the last hour. It’s an interesting read, we must say. Prior to joining Grey, Lubar worked on the account side at the likes of BBH, the Ad Store and what’s now RAPP. Anyhow, peep Houston’s memo, which carries the subject “All is Fair in Love and War,” after the jump. Update: McCann finally made it official, saying Lubar will join the agency effective July 9 and will still be based in New York.
Ok, here we go, sources familiar with the matter confirm that following the Eli Lilly account hullabaloo, Grey has soaked in another piece business in the form of Reliant, which we’ve been told was originally a conjoined operation within the Grey/G2. From what we’ve been told by sources familiar with the matter,” We had a shared relationship with Grey on the Reliant business, which has been service[d] out of the San Francisco Grey office.” From what we’ve been told, it was the Reliant direct marketing business that was at hand. You might asscociate Reliant with the NFL team/stadium it owns and doctrines on mind.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Draftfcb New York EVP/group creative director Augé Reichenberg is leaving the agency after a 15-year run. We’ve been told that Reichenberg (pictured) is joining up with New Jersey-based Publicis Groupe agency Rosetta, will be running creative for its healthcare unit and, in the process, will be reuniting with former partner and current CCO Gary Scheiner. Prior to Draftfcb, Reichenberg enjoyed a nine-year run at McCann.
In addition to the aforementioned senior creative’s departure, Draftfcb has also lost Nanci Silverman, who spent the last five years at Draft, to Grey, which she officially joined on May 1 and now serves as EVP/group account director on the WPP agency’s Darden portfolio including Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouses. Silverman replaces Michele Kay, who is “taking early retirement” according to Grey.
We’ve been told the parting was amicable, the pair is moving on to “greater opportunities” and to second that emotion, here’s a statement from Draftfcb NY CEO Dana Maiman, who says, ““We are so happy for both of them as are our clients. We wish them tremendous luck.”