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Publicis

Jason Lucas Joins Publicis Seattle as EVP/ECD

Jason PublicisPublicis Seattle announced the appointment of Jason Lucas to the EVP/ECD position, effective immediately.

Lucas will specifically handle creative on the T-Mobile account as the client attempts to further distance itself from Sprint and AT&T.

The release tells us that Lucas’s hiring marks a new stage in the agency’s development as it aims to take on “a variety of new clients.”

The incoming ECD, who has already relocated to Seattle, brings an extensive agency history to the West Coast: he most recently served as CD at VML/Y&R for approximately 18 months after leaving BBDO New York, and his client work at the former shop included Valvoline and Campbell’s V8.

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Publicis Seattle Plays in the Rain for Bumbershoot

Here’s a quick slice of “experiential” for a Friday morning. Publicis Seattle, tasked with promoting local arts and music festival Bumbershoot, got creative in playing on the one thing everyone associates with the city: rain.

Some behind-the-scenes on these water-activated ads: the agency’s creative team used NeverWet, a “two-part spray paint system” that’s invisible when dry, to stencil these messages on several stretches of city sidewalk for “practically no budget.”

They also inspired us to find our favorite related quote from our favorite fictional Seattle resident:

Niles Crane: “Is that rain?”

Frasier Crane: “No, that’s God crying.”

Credits after the jump.

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Red Lobster Names Publicis Lead Creative Agency

red lobsterRed Lobster has named Publicis Kaplan Thaler as its lead creative agency, reports AdAge.

The appointment follows a review, which Red Lobster started in April, after Darden decided to sell off the brand. Grey had been the brand’s creative agency after winning agency of record duties from The Richards Group back in 2010. According to AdAge, Grey did not participate in the review process, but retains creative duties for Darden brands Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. They also report that Olson, Barkley, and Interpublic’s Martin Agency were the other finalists in the review process, which was overseen by Pile & Co.

Mark Gilley, senior vice president, marketing at Red Lobster told AdAge that “the chain chose Publicis Kaplan Thaler because of its creative pitches, its existing work and digital and social strategy, the last of which is [a] particularly important element for Red Lobster as it moves more marketing dollars into digital,” adding that he admired how the agency’s recent work for Wendy’s “‘broke conventions’ in the fast-food category.”

Publicis Kaplan Thaler’s first campaign for Red Lobster, which spent around $156 million on measured media in 2013, is expected in the first half of 2015.

Infiniti Courts Seven Agencies in Global Account Pitch

Infiniti

Infiniti Motor Co. will meet (or has already met) with seven agencies before selecting finalists to pitch for its global creative account, Adweek reports.

The meetings took place this week, and leave Infiniti “on track to complete its search by August,” according to Adweek. Infiniti’s initial request for proposal reported that the brand spends approximately $450 million annually. Among the agencies in the running are Publicis, FCB, Havas Worldwide (pitching with sister shop Arnold), Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to Adweek‘s sources. Interestingly, also pitching is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, partnering with incumbent Omnicom agency TBWA. After the initial meetings, Infiniti will narrow the field to three or four agencies, a cut that “could come as soon as next week.” Infiniti’s RFP noted that “alternative approaches are paramount as Infiniti cannot outspend its competitors in broadcast,” and identified the U.S., China and Hong Kong as priority markets.

Ad Spending Surpasses Pre-Recession Numbers of $109B

ad on a budget

When the recession hit America with a huge thud, big business began to reconsider its residual income and closed up the budgets. Of course this hurt advertising agencies in a big way and many experts thought they would never recover, but this article from AdAge seems to contradict the naysayers once and for all.

Total spending among the 100 Leading National Advertisers (LNA) reached a record $108.6 billion in 2013, passing the previous spending peak set in pre-recession 2007.

Quick, call your clients…

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Publicis & Hal Riney Go to the Dogs with Purina

beneful

Last year was a good year for Purina’s Beneful dog food, which spent more than $52 million in measured media advertising. Fallon was at the helm of those buys, as they were with Purina One for more than 25 years.

Today, Fallon has neither brand.

Interpublic Group’s Avrett Free Ginsberg scored Purina One, and now Publicis & Hal Riney have won the creative for Beneful. While no one of note at Publicis & Riney could be reached for comment, Fallon was happy to say this about its quarter-century shaggy-dog story:

Agency CEO Mike Buchner said of the brand’s departure: “It has been an honor for Fallon to have represented Purina’s core dog food brands for over a quarter of a century. We are proud of the brands we’ve built together and the work we’ve created that has helped drive their business forward for decades.”

C-Level Changes at Rosetta

rosetta_logoToday we can confirm three departures at Publicis shop Rosetta.

COO Mark Taylor will soon leave his position, while CFO Rich DeMilt and partner Kristy Croft are no longer with the agency.

Taylor’s last day will come later this month. DeMilt, who joined Rosetta in 2008 after serving as worldwide controller at Ogilvy & Mather, left several weeks ago; the agency appointed Ariel Marciano to replace him as Global Chief Financial Officer in early May.

These moves follow a series of layoffs in April that affected “less than 5%” of the agency’s North American staff; over the past nine months Rosetta has also seen the arrival of new CCO Lars Bastholm and the departure of ECD Dave McClain.

These aren’t the only recent staffing changes at Rosetta. Additional appointments include:

Updates when we receive them.

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

civic

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

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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