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Kirshenbaum Bond

Thibodeau Out at KBS+P

Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners has parted ways with Steven Thibodeau, who had served as both chief digital officer at the agency and president of its Dotglu division. Thibodeau spent nearly 11 years at KBS+P, which he joined after a brief stint as EVP, director of interactive marketing at the now-defunct Fallon New York.

During his career, the exec has worked as a managing director at Scient, which was eventually merged into Razorfish, and on the account/management side at shops like Ammirati & Puris Lintas that were later absorbed by Lowe & Partners. We’re trying to find out the reason behind Thibodeau’s departure from KBP+S and are expecting some sort of answer soon. We’ll keep you posted.

Update: KBS+P has confirmed Thibodeau’s departure, saying it was his decision to move on after spending 11 years at the agency and helping build its digital presence. From what we’ve been told, Thibodeau has left to focus on other projects including his not-for profit organization ‘LOVE’  that he co-founded with his wife several years ago.

KBS+P Welcomes New ECD on BMW Biz

While we’re on the MDC-related front, let’s tell you that New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners has hired Michael Craven (right) as executive creative director on BMW among other clients. As a result, he’ll team up with fellow ECD DJ Pierce, who if you recall rejoined KBS+P last May, on the automaker’s account. Craven’s previous agency experience includes a stint at CP+B, where he moved up from senior copywriter to VP/CD before leaving to work on his second book  early last year (his first, Body Copy, was published in 2009 and set in the ad industry).

In addition to Craven’s arrival, KBS+P promoted creative director Jon Goldberg to ECD. The creative has been with Kirshenbaum for nearly four  years, leading the Vanguard business in the process (which he still does). Prior to KBS+P, he spent time at the likes of W+K Portland and New York as a copywriter and ACD/copywriter at McCann.

Wait, What’s Happening with Heineken US?

A source familiar with the matter tells us that “Heineken USA [is]taking the communication strategy to Mexico, as a result of the regional synergies.” OK, we’re not sure what this exactly means, but nearly two months after consolidating its global media management, we’re hearing that Heineken International is restructuring all of its marketing efforts…yet again.

When reached for comment, a Heineken spokesperson said, “We have a policy that we do not comment on rumor or speculation, but we don’t confirm or deny it.” To quote the great Mike Patton, “What is ‘it’?” We shall find out what’s happening soon, but we’ve been told that Heineken and KBS+P’s Ramona (formerly Adrenalina) still maintain a relationship via Tecate, though whether it’s on retainer or project basis has yet to be determined.

Judith Grey Out at KBS+P

We’ve received confirmation that KBS+P parted ways this week with creative director Judith Grey, who joined the agency 15 months ago and worked on the KAO Brands business (including John Frieda, Biore, Curel and Jergens) as well as home goods accounts. Prior to KBS+P, Grey spent a good portion of her career in the freelance circuit and also had art directing stints at the likes of Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Ogilvy.

KBS+P Wins BMW

It looks like KBS+P’s relationship with BMW has turned from temporary to permanent as the New York-based, MDC-owned operation has been named lead creative agency for the automaker’s North American business. KBS+P beat out Martin, Gotham, Cundari and Grey West for the account, which went back into play in March. Of course, it didn’t hurt that KBS+P had already been working on a national project basis for BMW ever since the latter’s former lead creative agency, GSD&M, resigned the account at the end of last year. Adweek has more on the matter here.

BMW Acct. Director Out at KBS+P, So Who’s In?

Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Allyson Witherspoon has left Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners. The exec spent the last four-and-a-half years at the agency and most recently held the title of group account director on BMW, specifically leading the automaker’s digital, social, emerging technology and CRM biz. The national creative account, of course, went into review back in March.

With Witherspoon out, we’re hearing stirrings from the grapevine that current KBS+P co-CCO Ed Brojerdi is stepping down and shifting posts at the agency to head of BMW North America’s account side–though our sources say that this is “absolutely not true.” Brojerdi oversaw creative for BMW’s Super Bowl work this year so he’s no stranger to the brand. Anyhow, we’ve been told that KBS+P is currently conducting a search to fill Witherspoon’s position so we’ll keep you posted when we find out who her successor is.

KBS+P Tells Interns to ‘FCKSMMR’

Many young college students see summer as an opportunity to hit the beach with their friends, spend the day at Six Flags Great America or to just lay on the ground and bask in the warm sun. However, there are other types of college students, those who would prefer to spend their days cooped up in an ad agency, looking wistfully out the window from time to time and sighing deeply while longing for the freedom and happiness that their peers are enjoying. For the latter weirdos, KBS+P might be the agency for you. You can either enjoy the reprieve from school or defiantly declare “FCKSMMR” and embrace the long hours of an advertising internship.

Computers! Speedy Internet! A/C! Vending Machines! Yes, at times, a summer at KBS+P seems to good to be true, but according to a video on the agency’s FCKSMMR website, it could be a reality. “It’s like heaven,” one of the KBS+P’s employees says. “We stay here all night!” And, they’ll even pay you for it! Crazy, but this is the world of advertising, and anything goes. So, young 20-something, ask yourself: are you going to let summer have its way with you, or are you going to join your pals at KBS+P and FCKSMMR?

Update: Currently, the above link for the FCKSMMR page is down. We’re contacting KBS+P to see what’s up.

Update 2: A source familiar with the matter tells us that the site was not actually finished and the link has been disabled because it went to an internal review site not for public viewing. We’ll let you know when it’s ready. It was fun while it lasted.

Pierce Comes Full Circle at KBS+P

Now that Jonah Bloom has been finally made official as content strategy lead at KBS+P, the New York-based MDC agency is turning its focus to the creative department and hiring DJ Pierce as executive creative director. This actually marks a return trip to KBS+P for Pierce, who started his ad career as an art director at the agency.

Before returning to his roots, so to speak, Pierce spent the last four years at CP+B, starting as a senior AD then moving up to an ACD role in which he was part of the team responsible for Best Buy “Twelpforce.” Pierce was eventually promoted to CD and worked on accounts including AmEx Small Business. During his career, the creative logged time at JWT, DDB and Lowe’s New York offices as well as Fallon Minneapolis.

Joining Pierce in the ECD ranks at KBS+P is Chris Cereda, who has been promoted from creative director. Both ECDs will be working across a range of accounts.

KBS+P Launches Investment Arm


KBS+P’s entrepreneurial chief digital media officer Darren Herman is the mastermind of agency’s new investment arm called kbs+p Ventures. Herman–who joined KBS+P four years ago and whose digital media firm, Varick Media Management, is also housed under the MDC umbrella–will serve as managing director of Ventures while maintaining his current post at Kirshenbaum.

The goal of this new unit is to back up early stage entrepreneurs and startups in the ad technologies, mobile and UX/UI sectors. Those who receive funding from Ventures will also be able to access resources from KBS+P and sister agencies within MDC. Ventures’ first investment is an on-demand realtime media intelligence platform called Yieldbot. The latter’s CEO Jonathan Mendez says in a statement, “Over the past five years or so, I’ve bumped into Darren at all different tech and advertising conferences. We struck up a friendship and when I started building YieldBot, he was one of the first people I met with to tell our story and he instantly understood it. We’re excited to have him and his firm on board.”

KBS+P Involved in Steak ‘n Shake Review

Steak ‘n Shake, the restaurant chain that was a godsend many a night for yours truly during the college days, launched a review recently and sources familiar with the matter confirm that Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners is one of the agencies pitching.

According to a report from AdAge just last week, Steak n’ Shake has basically been without an AOR for some time, working briefly with Zimmerman recently and the now-defunct Varnson Group before that in 2009. Previous to that, Steak n’ Shake worked with Young & Laramore from 1990-2008 . Kantar Media adds that Steak ‘n Shake–which is seeking its third agency in two years if you’re keeping score–has been upping its ad spend over the course of the last three years, spending about $17 million in U.S. measured media in 2009. Judging by Zimmerman’s stellar work for the brand (below), we’re shocked that Steak ‘n Shake put its creative account into play yet again.

In other KBS+P news, we’re hearing from tipsters that the agency has landed Super Bowl work for BMW, an account we previously mentioned that GSD&M is resigning by year’s end. We’re still awaiting confirmation on this.

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