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Publicis

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

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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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Publicis/Omnicom: An Autopsy

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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

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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.

Publicis Groupe Wants to Manage Your Phone Plan

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…or something like that

Here’s a very curious tip we received from at least one source at Razorfish: employees are now required to use parent company Publicis Groupe‘s phone plan to access all work emails and calendars.

Essentially, the message is: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan…unless you want to do work stuff. Then you’re gonna need either a new corporate plan or a new phone.”

Full email after the jump.

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Trouble Brewing in the Publicis Omnicom Camp

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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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ROKKAN Hires from R/GA and MRY, Launches New Media Offering

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Publicis Groupe’s ROKKAN has officially launched its new media planning/buying offering, hiring three industry vets in the process:

  • Sean Miller, who will lead the entire strategy department in the SVP role, most recently worked in the strategy/planning department at R/GA New York.
  • Lindsay Williams will lead the offering as VP of media and analytics. She joins the agency from Estee Lauder, where she was global brand director; prior to that role she worked with several clients at Razorfish.
  • Joe Meanor will serve as VP of client partnership. He joins ROKKAN from MRY, where he worked as group director.

CEO/managing partner John Noe explains the offering’s purpose:

“Media is actually something we’ve been doing for several of our clients over the last couple of years, albeit in a bit of an ad-hoc fashion.”

As client requests for paid services increased, Noe and team decided to launch the new offering, which is less an independent unit than a “natural progression” of the agency’s existing services.

Lowe Campbell Ewald Adds Pair of Creatives to NY Office

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The New York offices of Lowe Campbell Ewald have just welcomed two new creatives to its team. Melissa Goliczewski will be joining on as senior copywriter, while Erica Turner will serve as senior art director. Both Goliczewski and Turner join the agency from Publicis Kaplan Thaler and will be working together on the Unilver account.

Melissa Goliczewski worked as a copywriter at agencies including MRM Worldwide Interactive, McCann Erickson, Source Communications and DeVito/Verdi prior to her nearly six year stint at Publicis Kaplan Thaler. She has worked with clients including Maybelline, L’Oreal, Intel, US Army and Johnson & Johnson, and her work has been recognized by Cannes, Midas and AME.

Prior to Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Erica Turner spent over 5 years as a senior art director at Gotham Inc, where she “launched global print, television, in-store, and digital campaigns for Maybelline New York Cosmetics, from concept to production.” In the past few years she has worked with clients including Softsheen-Carson,  Burger King, Samsung and the Boys and Girls Club.

Publicis Kaplan Thaler Makes Some Cuts

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We’ve received the tips and now there’s some confirmation about cuts at New York-based Publicis Kaplan Thaler. Here’s a statement from the agency: “As our industry continues to transform and our clients’ needs change, we sometimes need to make adjustments to our staffing to be at the forefront of these changes. Less than 2% of our staff is affected by these changes.” From what we hear, among those affected at PKT, which has worked with an array of clients ranging from Wendy’s and Sleepy’s to Bristol-Myers Squibb and L’Oreal Paris over the years, include VP/creative technology director, Anton Roolaart, who has spent the last four years at the agency serving as developer, sound engineer and composer among other duties.

Publicis Kaplan Thaler Creates First-Ever National Ad for Edmunds.com

Publicis Kaplan Thaler created the first ever TV spot for car shopping destination Edmunds.com to receive a national release. The spot, “Edmunds Price Promise,” debuted on Christmas Day during NBA programming on ABC and ESPN and “will remain in regular rotation on several networks through at least the next three months.”

“Edmunds Price Promise” highlights the price promise Edmunds offers its customers, “an instant, locked-in price that the dealer will honor,” while positioning Edmunds employees as “car people” — quite literally. While the humor falls flat, the national campaign will likely bring the company newfound exposure and the Edmunds Price Promise should be a selling point with its audience.

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

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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

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