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Publicis

Publicis Wishes You ‘Merry Beeping Christmas from Oral-B’

Publicis London turns to beeped out cursing in its irreverent holiday ad for Oral-B, entitled, “Merry Beeping Christmas from Oral-B.”

The spot opens on a woman stepping on an angel ornament while tip-toeing around the house barefoot carrying presents. She lets out a few bleeped out choice words, and quickly we’re on our way to the next profanity-inducing situation. These scenarios run the gamut from ugly sweaters to cooking accidents and trouble with the lights but each result in an expected torrent of profanity. The ad ends with the tagline “At least you don’t have to worry about your smile,” accompanied by the Oral-B logo. It may be a bit of a stretch, but tying oral care to the holidays isn’t the easiest proposition in the world and the spot is fun and clever enough to fit in with other cheeky holiday ads we’ve seen this year from brands in the UK. Read more

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Publicis Worldwide Wins Cadillac

Cadillac

This morning Cadillac made its big decision: Publicis Worldwide will be its global creative agency of record.

The (very quiet) review began in September when the brand chose to end its partnership with Hill Holliday, and Cadillac will no longer work with IPG agencies moving forward.

Earlier reports held that, while IPG had chosen to fold the Rogue unit it created to serve the client after the Hill Holliday decision, its Lowe and Partners group would take over the account with creative run out of New York and management handled by Campbell Ewald in Detroit. AdAge reported that “the only shop that’s really losing out on Rogue is Hill Holliday,” but that is no longer the case.

The news amounts to a major loss for IPG, which held the account for little over a year after Cadillac’s Fallon breakup prompted the agency’s CEO to write a note calling the decision “an outcome we do not deserve.” The holding company announced a cross-agency realignment to more effectively serve the client when Cadillac named a new president in August (following the appointment of a new CMO in January), but those efforts were not enough to retain the business.

What’s not clear at the moment is how the review unfolded: Cadillac did not announce it or make any public comments, and we don’t know which agencies were involved beyond Lowe and Publicis.

Read the full internal memo from Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun – which thanks CSOs Carla Serrano, Dylan Williams, and more — below.

Read more

Publicis Groupe’s Level Studios Has a New CEO

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Publicis Groupe’s Level Studios has announced the appointment of Dan Connolly as CEO, MediaPost reports. He fills a role left vacant by the departure of Tom Adamski, now CEO of Razorfish Global, for Rosetta in April of 2013.

Connolly, who over the past sixteen months has risen from partner, to president and now CEO, will be responsible for overseeing all business units across the agency’s U.S. and European locations and will also act as a member of the Brand Leadership team for Level Studios’ parent network, Razorfish Global. He will operate primarily out of San Luis Obispo, California but will travel between Level’s offices and clients as part of his expanded role, with an emphasis on the Bay Area and New York. Connoly told MediaPost his objectives in the new role are to complete building “Level’s executive leadership team, align talent across existing and new offices, and to work closely with the newly formed Razorfish Global and Brand leadership teams.” Read more

Publicis Kaplan Thaler President/CCO Stepping Down

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Rob Feakins, President and CCO of New York’s Publicis Kaplan Thaler, will be leaving the agency next month.

Various sources told us that Feakins made the announcement in an all-agency meeting this afternoon, and a spokesperson for PKT has confirmed that he plans to step down. Here’s the official statement:

“Yes, after eight terrific years at Publicis, Rob Feakins has decided it is time to move on to something new. Rob has been one of the hardest working creative leads in our business. This year alone the work he has shepherded for the agency has won over 140 creative awards. The most in our history. We all think so highly of Rob and wish him well as he moves on to this next phase.”

Feakins joined Publicis New York in 2006 as President/CCO after six years at Kirshenbaum, Bond + Partners. He retained that position after the New York office merged with Kaplan Thaler in 2012.

A reader tells us that Feakins will remain with PKT until mid-December and that there has been no news of a search for someone to fill his role.

The agency also has yet to comment on rumored changes regarding its name and location.

Publicis to Drop $3.7 Billion on Sapient

Sapient Logo

In case you missed it yesterday, Publicis Groupe attempted to make up for its own performance issues over the weekend by snapping up Sapient for $3.7 billion in cold cash (and so close to Christmas, too!).

It’s true that these talks could fall through just as the Publicis/Omnicom merger did last year, but for now it seems that the next phase in the group’s “transformation into a digital-technology company” will indeed go through this week.

As a reader put it this morning, “Idea engineers own the ad industry” — and Publicis is very interested in engineering as many ideas as possible. Moving forward, does this mean less focus on the work and more on the data behind it?

So far, the move has been good for business: USA Today notes that Sapient stock rose more than 40% this morning, largely because Publicis agreed to pay nearly 150 percent of each share’s most recent value.

Read more

PKT Tests ‘The Effects of Halloween Candy’ on Kids for Crest

Publicis Kaplan Thaler has released a new campaign for Crest testing “The Effects of Halloween Candy” on children.

The test is performed by a deadpan moderator who basically lets a group of children in Halloween costumes (the highlight being the little girl dressed as a piñata) binge on candy and records the results. And the results are? “It seems when presented with candy kids exhibit a pathological fixation bordering on psychosis,” according to the moderator. Oh, also, “Piñata has anger issues,” and one little boy threw up in the toilet. Whether you find this cute or annoying (or both) will depend largely on your tolerance for loud children. But then, this is targeted squarely at parents, with the payoff tagline being “Thanks to Crest their teeth are covered” following the message “Halloween candy may have an effect on your kids but not on their teeth.” Now where can we get a piñata costume? Read more

PKT Launches Learning Disability PSA Campaign

Publicis Kaplan Thaler teamed up with the the Advertising Council to launch a PSA campaign for various groups dealing with children’s learning and attention issues.

The campaign is designed to direct parents to the new website Understood.org, designed to help parents better understand their children’s issues and help them reach their full potential. In one broadcast spot, a man asks Siri, “How can I help my daughter with her reading?” and instead gets results for “Dachsund breeding.” It’s revealed at the end of the 30-second spot that the mistake was intentional:  “…I was trying to show you how Sarah feels every day. Frustrating, isn’t it?” before directing him to Understood.org. Broadcast spots also appear in Spanish-language versions. While comparing problems with voice recognition software to learning and attention issues may be a bit of a stretch, it also should get the attention of parents struggling to understand their kids’ problems in school and get them to the website.

“The crux of the campaign is that understanding is everything,” Larissa Kirschner, a creative director at Publicis Kaplan Thaler, told The New York Times. “Put yourself in children’s shoes and you can truly understand their frustration. We took the cultural phenomenon of Siri, a smartphone not always getting you, as our way in.”

The campaign also includes print, radio, and outdoor elements, as well as a social initiative that includes weekly Twitter chats for parents. The website itself attempts to educate parents through a series of videos and interactive experiences designed to simulate the experiences of children with learning and attention issues. Read more

Samsung (Mostly) Sticking with Publicis

samsung storeSamsung’s global review is over, and the news from AdAge isn’t much of a revelation: the company is sticking with Publicis. For the most part.

The significant part of the story imparted by “people familiar with the review” who didn’t talk to us is that the company added W+K and BBH to its very large agency roster — and that CHI & Partners, 72andSunny and Leo Burnett retained creative duties despite a challenge to the latter from Grey.

We didn’t get any tips on this one, and the lips of all related parties were sealed:

“Wieden & Kennedy, BBH and Starcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Leo Burnett declined to comment. Representatives from Samsung in South Korea and the U.S. did not return requests for comment.”

It’s been a slow week for tips with Advertising Week occupying everyone’s attention here in New York, but we’re impressed that people made so little noise about the future of such a big account.

Publicis Seeks to ‘Stop the Violence’ for Nokia

Publicis, Italy has a new spot for Nokia which seeks to “Stop the Violence” of cut selfies.

The clever spot shows a series of badly cut selfies, followed by the message, “Every day thousands of people are victims of cut selfies. Stop the violence.” This is followed by the tagline, “Share life uncut,” which has some unfortunate (and unintentional) implications. That it becomes kind of hard to watch the procession of badly shot selfies only serves to underscore the spot’s message. That said, the pacing and editing seem pretty spot-on. Read more

We Hear: Changes Pending at Publicis Kaplan Thaler

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While we have yet to receive confirmation from our contacts, a steady stream of tips about some big (allegedly) pending changes at New York-based Publicis Kaplan Thaler has found its way to our inbox.

Here are the claims laid out in the tips we received, which started trickling in back in April after the agency laid off “less than 2 percent” of its staff:

  • The agency’s three offices will consolidate into the location at 1675 Broadway
  • A majority of the agency’s staff will move to that office by 2015 and the shift will be complete by 2016
  • The resulting shop will drop the K and the T to go by the name “Publicis Worldwide New York”

Hints are not so specific on the staffing front. We hear mention of “potential departures” at the executive level, and more than one tipster claims that Publicis Worldwide International Creative Director Erik Vervroegen now “has his name on an office door.”

UPDATE: PKT officially tells us that, as a general practice, the agency refrains from commenting on speculation.

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