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PHD

There’s a New Spark at Starbucks After Agency RFI

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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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Vonage Creative, Media Biz Goes Into Review

After hearing about this since yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson for Vonage finally confirmed to us before the witching hour last night that it has put its creative and media accounts into review. Here’s a quick statement from the company’s recently installed CMO Barbara Goodstein:  “As our business evolves and the media landscape changes, it is critical to continually evaluate the effectiveness of our advertising and media investment against our future strategies. The competitive environment demands that we engage consumers through personally relevant, high-impact creative with media that drives efficient response. Reviewing our agency relationships will ensure we are teamed with the best possible partners for our future business needs.”

Omnicom siblings TBWA\Chiat\Day and PHD, Vonage’s current advertising and media agency, respectively, have both been invited to participate in the review, which the company expects to complete in January 2013. Chiat and PHD have handled the Vonage biz for three-and-a-half years. Meanwhile, Hispanic and direct mail assignments, which are currently being handled by Vox Profero and The Agency inside Harte Hanks, respectively, have not been affected.

The Holmdel, NJ-based phone service provider has retained Roth Associates to consult regarding the search for its creative and media agency partners.

 

PHD Responds to ‘We Are the Future’ Comments

By now, many of you have probably seen this two-minute production from PHD Worldwide, which uses kids as a “reflection on how the next generation will engage with brands.” Suffice to say, the reaction wasn’t positive to the video, which begins with the blunt message, “If you work in marketing, you better start upping your game.”

The overwhelming negativity has now in turn prompted PHD to respond in a blog post this week, saying among other things that the video was “…a provocation and an invitation to the marketing industry to comment.” To its credit, the agency breaks the criticism down and addresses everything from using kids to the unrealistic predictions of the execution. You can read the full response here, which we think could only add fuel to the fire.

PHD Promotes Holden to Global Strategy Director

Mark Holden is leaving the confines of PHD Australia and returning home to London to take on the global strategy director post at the agency. Holden, currently managing partner at PHD’s operation Down Under, will assume his new title in January.

Holden moved to Australia three years ago set up PHD’s office there and subsequently helped the shop win 16 new clients in the past 12 months alone including PepsiCo, Guthy Renker, National Australia Bank and Google. Holden, who has been with PHD network since 2001, says in a statement, “I am very excited about being able to help build upon the success the PHD network has already achieved.  PHD is a wonderful and unique company as it is genuinely driven by a higher purpose – that of finding a better way.  It is a complete privilege to help steer this amazing company and this amazing group of minds.”

Holden started his ad career as a planner at Saatchi & Saatchi before heading over to OMD to head a planning group that counted clients such as Gillette, Boots Plc and Volkswagen.

PHD Taps Mindshare Alum for East Coast MD Role

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Omnicom-owned PHD named former Mindshare senior exec Steve Piluso as its new East Coast Managing Director. Piluso will lead the agency’s New York, Chicago and Minneapolis offices while focusing on clients including HBO, Discovery Networks, American Legacy Foundation and Hormel Foods.

While at Mindshare, Piluso served as MD for client work such as Breyers, Sprint and AmEx, the last of which included a cross-promotional effort with Fox series 24. Prior to Mindshare, Piluso held posts at Y&R/The Media Edge and Euro RSCG, where he worked on the Intel business for five years.

More: “HBO Consolidates Media to PHD

Amy Auerbach Left PHD to Join Initiative

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AgencySpy has learned that former PHDiQ Director of Interactive Amy Auerbach left the agency to join up with Initiative, said a source. Initiative’s US President Tim Spengler officially announced Auerbach’s arrival at the agency today, but according to our source she’s been there all week.

At PHD, Auerbach handled the agency’s east coast operations, overseeing digital media for Chrysler and AIG, among others. At Initiative she’ll lead its New York digital operations as SVP, director, digital.

More:PHD Loses More Digital Leadership; Director of Interactive Amy Auerbach

PHD Loses More Digital Leadership; Director of Interactive Amy Auerbach

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Omnicom’s PHD is no stranger to the effects of an indifferent economy. When we learned that the agency’s New York office lost Amy Auerbach, director of interactive, it was yet another indicator that the media shop is refocusing its attention away from emerging media, and the leadership that once steered their digital ship.

Auerbach’s departure (we’re told she resigned) marks the fourth digital-leadership seat to empty since the middle of this summer.

Click continued for more.

More: “Raw and Uncut

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