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Interpublic

We Hear: IPG Wins Chrysler Social Media Account; Activists Invest in Interpublic

IPG_MEDIABRANDS_Black_LargeWhile we can’t confirm this report, we hear from several sources that Chrysler–which signed Ignite to handle its social media in 2011 after experiencing an unfortunate misstep involving the f-bomb that led the company to dump its agency–has awarded that account to Interpublic’s IPG Media Brands.

Chrysler did not announce an official review; updates as they arrive.

Another piece of Interpublic news is definitely accurate: this morning, the New York hedge fund Elliott Management confirmed, via SEC filing, that it had acquired a 6.7 percent interest in the larger holding group. This news follows earlier speculation that Elliott aimed to play the role of “activist investor” by scooping up a stake in the group (which includes McCann, Weber Shandwick and FCB among “almost 100 different firms”).

What does the shift mean for the agencies under the Interpublic umbrella? From The Wall Street Journal:

“Elliott’s confirmation of its interest will put pressure on Interpublic Chief Executive Michael Roth…One reason an activist may want to shake up Interpublic is that the company has failed to meet its margin targets over the last two years…Results have been hampered by the poor performance of some of its largest agencies, such as McCann Worldgroup, the biggest unit by revenue…Still, over the past year, McCann has begun to rebound under new leadership, winning new business from companies such as GM and Microsoft.”

Something of a mixed message.

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Lowe Campbell Ewald NY Wins U.S. Fund for UNICEF

UNICEF-LOGOLowe Campbell Ewald has earned a cause as much as a client by securing of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF–which supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, education and advocacy in the United States–following a competitive review.

Typically, UNICEF has worked with agencies on a pro-bono basis. But times are changing, donors are reducing their “gives” and competition is growing. These factors led UNICEF to increase its paid approach to strategy and partner with the Interpublic shop.

“It is an honor to be awarded the opportunity to work with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF,” said Sal Taibi, president of Lowe Campbell Ewald’s New York Office. “UNICEF’s mission to save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children could not be better aligned to our mantra to create work with purpose. We are eager to begin working with the organization to advance such a noble and purposeful effort.”

According to Kantar Media, UNICEF’s U.S. media spend last year was $16.8 million, up from $12.8 million a year earlier (Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest is UNICEF’s media agency).

The account will be run out of Lowe Campbell Ewald’s New York office.

Move Over, #YOLO; Pfizer Brings the #FOGO

get-old-building

If someone asked you what sort of business would spark the next social media trend, odds are that the word pharmaceuticals would not come to mind.

Pfizer hopes to defy convention by capitalizing on its “Get Old” campaign–launched back in 2012–and introducing “FOGO“: fear of getting old.

The company thought that the initiative, intended to stimulate conversations on subjects like the challenges of aging, needed a boost. As reported in The New York Times, they traded original AOR SS&K in an effort to go HUGE.

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Will Advertising Lead Detroit’s Renaissance?

LCE Detroit InsideDetroit.

It’s the nation’s No. 11 media market, No. 9 African-American market, No 15 Asian-American market, and No. 43 U.S. Hispanic market. It’s a sports mecca, the birthplace of Motown and the American automobile, home to Belle Isle and host to some of the coolest art-deco in the country.

It is also a city currently $18 billion in debt, relying on casino cash to survive, and losing residents by the GM truckload. The marketplace surrounding Ford Field, which included a barren historic complex and the J.L. Hudson Warehouse (also completely empty), was supposed to be the spark to light that phoenix ablaze.

And then Lowe Campbell Ewald moved in.

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Ad Spending Surpasses Pre-Recession Numbers of $109B

ad on a budget

When the recession hit America with a huge thud, big business began to reconsider its residual income and closed up the budgets. Of course this hurt advertising agencies in a big way and many experts thought they would never recover, but this article from AdAge seems to contradict the naysayers once and for all.

Total spending among the 100 Leading National Advertisers (LNA) reached a record $108.6 billion in 2013, passing the previous spending peak set in pre-recession 2007.

Quick, call your clients…

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Publicis & Hal Riney Go to the Dogs with Purina

beneful

Last year was a good year for Purina’s Beneful dog food, which spent more than $52 million in measured media advertising. Fallon was at the helm of those buys, as they were with Purina One for more than 25 years.

Today, Fallon has neither brand.

Interpublic Group’s Avrett Free Ginsberg scored Purina One, and now Publicis & Hal Riney have won the creative for Beneful. While no one of note at Publicis & Riney could be reached for comment, Fallon was happy to say this about its quarter-century shaggy-dog story:

Agency CEO Mike Buchner said of the brand’s departure: “It has been an honor for Fallon to have represented Purina’s core dog food brands for over a quarter of a century. We are proud of the brands we’ve built together and the work we’ve created that has helped drive their business forward for decades.”

It’s a Four-Shop Race to Fill Honda’s Digital Needs

civic

American Honda Motor Company works hard to keep up with the competition but hasn’t been quite so successful in the hybrid space. Honda’s Prius equivalent may have been called The Insight, but the company recently pitted all three major holding companies against one another in the search for a bit more of that key noun.

Other campaigns have gone viral (shout out to Michael Bolton) and, according to AdWeek, Honda spends approximately $50 million on digital advertising each year.

Now who’s competing for that money?

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Microsoft Goes with IPG, Dentsu Aegis

Microsoft-Logo-square

Microsoft’s nearly four-month long agency review process is over.

Today brings news that the company chose IPG for ads and Dentsu Aegis for media. The release reads:

“At Interpublic Group, creative, localization and deployment will be handled by various agency teams throughout IPG’s global network.”

…which means a lot of work for a lot of people since Microsoft’s annual media spend totals more than $1 billion.

Last month the company’s RFP told the agencies involved in the review that they should be “open to change”, and VP/CMO Chris Capossela writes that both new parties fit that bill:

“We believe both groups will help us communicate more strategically and efficiently in a rapidly evolving marketplace.”

The company reportedly stuck with former Bill Clinton flack Mark Penn to handle the big decision. We can only hope its “Scroogled” campaign doesn’t have quite as many lives.

Secret Weapon CD on Deutsch McDonald’s Campaign: ‘Flattering’ but ‘Annoying’

Anyone notice that the recent Taco Bell “Ronald McDonald” spot bears a very slight resemblance to this 2002 Secret Weapon ad for Jack in the Box?

Secret Weapon founder/creative director Richard Sittig did–and he told Felix Gilette of Bloomberg Businessweek all about it today.

You know you want some key quotes after the jump.

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IPG Launches New Pharma-Focused Agency ID Health

IDHIPG’s ID Media hopes to own an unfilled niche with the launch of ID Health, an agency specializing in healthcare and pharmaceutical clients.

Michael Maher, former SVP of marketing for Digitas Health, will run the new agency as president reporting to ID Media CEO Lynn Fantom.

The idea summarized in the release holds that customers navigating a changing healthcare industry demand more accountability from the brands involved–and that these companies in turn need an agency that can “[reach and engage] more targeted patient populations.”

There’s more talk of “tightened budget[s]“, “tighter budgets and tougher-to-reach targets” and “extend[ing] the value of [the] marketing dollar” than usual in this release, so we’ll assume that price will be ID Health’s key differentiator.

Maher was a natural choice to lead the new agency, with a portfolio including some of the biggest names in the field: Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Novartis.

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