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Omnicom

White Castle Serves Up an Agency Review for the First Time Since 2009

white-castle-304Speaking of meats…for the past five years, Ft. Lauderdale’s  Zimmerman has been creative AOR for the iconic White Castle brand. Before 2009, JWT lead all White Castle creative for 15 years.

Now AdAge tells us that White Castle is shopping again.

Incumbent Zimmerman is still in the running, and the report gives us little in the way of details regarding other candidates. Here’s this word from the home of the Slider:

“We always look at all of our partners on a regular basis, every five to seven years,” said Kim Bartley, White Castle VP-marketing and menu development. The marketer issued a request for proposals to agencies in June and has seven shops in the running, she said. It plans to make a decision by October.

The review comes five months after Grey won the Papa John’s account.

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eBay Hires WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby for Support

ebay

In April, eBay began looking to revamp its brand and image. The online clearinghouse put out a review not for an agency of record but for shops to work on a global brand project (which speaks to last week’s conversation on the state of the AOR).

eBay found two agencies to fit the bill: WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. The two will act in much-needed supportive roles to handle media and creative.

Surprisingly, the agencies released no celebratory comment. We do have this from eBay to AdAge:

“As our brand evolves, we’re constantly looking for new ways to inspire and engage our buyers and sellers around the world. We have recently engaged Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Mediacom as one of our agency partners to help us explore how to continue telling the story of eBay.”

The company spent $51 million on U.S. measured media last year; this total includes spending for subsidiaries PayPal and StubHub.

SAP Business Goes to Omnicom, BBDO

SAP Logo

To confirm rumors and clarify earlier, not-quite-accurate reports, all of SAP’s business did officially move from WPP to Omnicom today after a full review.

More specifically, BBDO will now handle creative for the German software giant while PHD will handle media; Ogilvy and Mindshare previously had those accounts. An Omnicom spokesperson tells us that a list of agencies involved “at the outset” also includes RAPP, Critical Mass, FleishmanHillard, Siegel+Gale, GMR, and eg+–and that it will almost certainly evolve to include others over time.

Expect coming campaigns to stick to the “run” theme: in the release, CEO Bill McDermott writes that “Omnicom is the partner we believe gives us the strongest team and approach to scale [the 'run simple' movement] globally.”

As for the money involved, we’d call it “a lot”: back in 2012 SAP made headlines by promising to spend $450M over four years on “sustainable innovation and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region” alone.

There’s a New Spark at Starbucks After Agency RFI

Starbucks_Advertisement

In what appears to be a clandestine RFI process, Starbucks has announced a changing of the guard in its media agency relationship.

Following only the first phase in review, the java giant has decided to cut ties with Omnicom PHD and hire Publicis Groupe’s Spark. Prior to the RFI and decision after the initial review, PHD was Starbucks’ media agency for the past six years.

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Publicis/Omnicom: An Autopsy

publicis-omicron

The world’s largest mega-merger is over before it began–and on the morning after the big breakdown, we have a fairly clear sense of the factors that doomed this would-be deal.

The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night with a joint statement from Messrs. Levy and Wren, who called the uncoupling conscious:

“The challenges that still remained to be overcome, in addition to the slow pace of progress, created a level of uncertainty detrimental to the interests of both groups.”

Their stories quickly and predictably diverged, however.

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Chances of Omnicis/Publicom Merger Now Less Than 50/50

publicis-omicron

If you’re a gambling man, you might want to bet against the pending mega-merger and the double-headed hydra it would create.

Earlier this week, WPP‘s Martin Sorrell gleefully told Reuters–via a little birdie–that chances of the deal going through were less than even. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that analysts at Albert Fried had lowered the official odds to 40% (the previous number was 66%) while downgrading  the theoretical stock price from $70 to $56.

The fact that Publicis recently lost Microsoft, Samsung and Miller Lite didn’t help; the defections have compounded risks created by a clashing of egos over the contested CFO role.

All involved parties still say the deal will go through, primarily because “there’s a $500 million break-up fee at stake”, so we expect to see a few more upbeat press releases in the days ahead.

As principals at both companies sweat a bit more heavily this week than last, WPP may have already begun planning its victory lap.

Trouble Brewing in the Publicis Omnicom Camp

publicis-omicron

Over the weekend you may have heard of some newfound uncertainty regarding the world’s soon-to-be-biggest agency: the bastard child of Publicis and Omnicom.

Let’s review the reports, shall we?

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Maurice Lévy Returns, Now with Balloons in Tow, for Publicis Groupe’s 2014 Greeting

publicis-groupe2014

Maurice Lévy is back this year for the new Publicis Groupe New Year’s greeting. After toying with YouTube’s functionality last year,  the holding company, with the aid of their DigitasLBi France unit, has once again found a new way to make their greeting interactive.


This year, Publicis built their message around the theme of #TheMoretheMerrier in honor of their expected merger with Omnicom. To accomplish this, they’ve made it so “The more people that join in during the video, the merrier it will become.” So, what does that mean exactly? Well, if you watch the video alone, nothing special happens. But if you watch with a friend, Maurice Lévy will deliver his speech in a confetti storm. Adding more people to the mix will result in “gospel singers, cheerleaders, Chinese dragons and a few other surprises.” It’s a pretty cool concept, managing to be interactive in an intriguing new way.

 

To accomplish this, Publicis’ tech team developed “a fancy facial detection algorithm that allows a webcam to count how many people are actually watching the video together.” The facial recognition software was conceived by “a 21 year old Russian math genius” working for DigitasLBi France. The software is the “first of its kind to detect up to ten faces simultaneously” while the video plays. “The More the Merrier” is the first video to count the number of viewers, rather than views, on YouTube. That’s a lot of technological firsts for a New Year’s greeting. By the way, in case you were wondering, it takes 1,487 balloons to cover Maurice Lévy.

Credits after the jump. Read more

Ad Guys Just Talking, Part II: Does the Omnicom-Publicis Merger Make Sense?

And so, the conversation continues between PSFK CEO Piers Fawkes, MEC’s Scott Schwartz and Huge creative director Ross Maupin, who follow up yesterday’s chat about the importance of Advertising Week by discussing the elephant in the room that is the Omnicom/Publicis Groupe merger. Is it good or bad for the industry? Does it make sense? Well, let’s let the lads weigh in. Note: The overall conversation between our participants actually lasted well over 30 minutes, but seeing as it’s all short attention span theater nowadays, we’re offering up quick soundbites for now. Who knows, maybe we’ll have extended versions to come as they had plenty to say, but for now, on with the show.

 

Atlanta Agency ASO Mocks Omnicom/Publicis Merger with Parody Pitch Video

For the last few weeks, all we ever think about during our waking hours is the Omnicom/Publicis merger and how lucky we are to be living in a time where something this momentous happens. Truly, we wake up now with a new sense of purpose and self-worth knowing that two giant holding companies merged to make the biggest holding company.

However, not everyone shares our enthusiasm, chief among them Atlanta-based indie shop Ames Scullin O’Haire. They made the above video to convince us that the merger wasn’t a good thing and doesn’t really benefit anyone beyond the rich people in charge of the agency networks who are now richer. “Bigger isn’t always better” says ASO, who is small and would totally say something like that to besmirch the good name of Publicis-Omnicom Groupe.

Will all of Atlanta’s biggest businesses pull their money from large agencies and invest in ASO after seeing this video? To be honest, yes. Definitely.

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