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Strawberry Frog PSA Raises Awareness of Need for Medical Supplies to Fight Ebola

Strawberry Frog teamed up with New York-based humanitarian aid organization Afya Foundation for a new PSA raising awareness of the need for medical supplies to fight Ebola in West Africa.

The PSA uses the fact that five children were exposed to the Ebola virus in Texas as a way to deliver the message that medical supplies, hospital equipment and other humanitarian aid is desperately needed to stop the spread of the disease in West Africa. “I don’t want to be a statistic” a number of children say, before mentioning that they have more important things to do, like studying for a geography test or catching a basketball game. “What are you going to do to prevent me from becoming another statistic?” asks a child near the conclusion of the spot, right before viewers are prompted to donate to Afya’s Ebola relief effort.

Interestingly, the PSA doesn’t provide information on the dire state of West Africa except for in relation to the possibility of the disease spreading in the U.S. Strawberry Frog and Afya seemingly decided fear of the disease spreading domestically is a more powerful motivator than compassion for the devastation faced in West Africa (which is both sad and rather telling). Indeed, the spot ends with the message, “Please donate to Afya’s Ebola relief effort today. Before it stops us here in the United States.” Read more

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StrawberryFrog Celebrates Sweden for Wasa

StrawberryFrog has a new campaign for Wasa, which launches with the debut spot “Staying Fit the Swedish Way.”

Filmed in Stockholm, the 90-second spot follows the story of an American architect named Clarissa on a business trip in Sweden. She attends a yoga class, where she encounters some of the ways Sweden differs from the U.S., and is impressed with the healthy Swedish lifestyle, and especially Wasa crispbread. It’s not a bad setup to promote the healthy snack, but something about the copious utterances of the word “Sweden” and the way Clarissa speaks directly to the camera is a little off-putting. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Cuts at StrawberryFrog New York


Today we can confirm that StrawberryFrog has reduced the size of its New York office.

Details remain unfortunately sparse at this time. A statement from parent company APCO Worldwide reads:

“We are always looking for ways to create greater efficiencies and streamline the business at StrawberryFrog in order to deliver the best value to our clients.  After a recent review of the business, we decided to reduce some layers in management.  As a result, some staff will be leaving StrawberryFrog’s New York office.”

No confirmation on the number of staffers who will be leaving, though our tipster says the move affects “many.”

Some of the agency’s most visible work in 2014 to date has been the Jim Beam “Make History” campaign, starring Mila Kunis and created with the other shops in the FutureWorks collective: Sydney’s The Works and Hamburg, Germany’s Jung von Matt.

Updates as we receive them.

And Now, a Tale of the StrawberryFrog/APCO Fiasco



Jeez Louise, we’re still awaiting to hear from both parties on the matter, but it doesn’t sound good. As you may have read last week, StrawberryFrog staff has sued D.C.-based PR company APCO, the latter of which acquired the agency in early 2012. Well, things are getting ugly. We’ve received word from very reliable sources, and one has spun a holiday-themed yarn like this:

“Strawberry Frog Amsterdam, a massive PR corporation from DC called Apco Worldwide led by Margery & Evan Kraus, and their made-up entity called the “Dutch Advertising Consortium.” The latter was created to save reputations after Apco attempted to shut down the Amsterdam SF office in October…via email. (Talk about breaking up with someone over a post-it note!) The issue now is that “The Dutch Advertising Consortium” may file bankruptcy in the next few days to avoid paying 20 employees and contractors—a move that could leave many broke from unpaid invoices and salaries.

The best part, is that the amount owed to employees would not even make a small dent in their combined revenues of 200M! Be sure to raise a glass to the Ebeneezers at @apcoworldwide and @frogism and tell them what you think about this kind of behaviour in our industry. Let them know that just like the epic tales of Scrooge or the Grinch, @apcoworldwide and @frogism can still turn it around and #dotherightthing by paying employees and contractors what they are owed. We believe in Christmas miracles. “God bless us, everyone!” Thank you, The Tiny Tims.”

FYI, agency founder Scott Goodson emphasizes that the Amsterdam company is controlled by Apco and is not StrawberryFrog, nor is it connected to StrawberryFrog New York. We’ll update when we hear more.

Update: APCO has sent us this statement:

“Hi Kiran –

StrawberryFrog Amsterdam was a standalone investment for APCO Worldwide, and not part of the operations of either StrawberryFrog or APCO.  As we informed the media in early November, APCO decided to end this investment since the clients that had been serviced there had either moved their marketing in-house or switched to other agencies.

We are appropriately following the process for shutting down a business in which we invested, as we informed StrawberryFrog Amsterdam’s staff in early November. We will continue to act in a responsible manner in accordance with Dutch law as the process continues.”

StrawberryFrog Shutters Ops in Amsterdam


We’ve been hearing about this for the last few days, and now, we’ve finally got a little clarification on the matter. Yes, the folks at D.C.-based PR firm APCO, which bought StrawberryFrog in early 2012, have confirmed to us that the  latter agency’s Amsterdam office has closed its doors. From what we’ve been told, when APCO acquired the SF Amsterdam, the agency had been working with several legacy clients, though over time, said clients (no specific names given) have consolidated operations at various local vendors in Amsterdam. Thus, APCO has determined that there wasn’t a need at this point for an Amsterdam office.

APCO tells us that approximately 20 people overall have been affected by the Amsterdam shuttering including 12 from said office and the rest from the New York branch who worked closely with their overseas sibling. We’ve been told, though, that the NYC office, which has done work for Jim Beam among others in recent times, remains intact. We’ll keep you posted if we hear more.

In Case You Missed It, StrawberryFrog Has Indeed Been Acquired

Looks like the price was finally right for StrawberryFrog founder/CEO Scott Goodson, who has denied rumors in recent months that his New York-based agency was for sale. Anyhow, the buyer is a company called APCO, which according to the Wall Street Journal, is a PR firm that is “known for public affairs and crisis communications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but speaking to WSJ, Goodson says that the acquisition “will give [StrawberryFrog] the ability to work with clients in more markets around the world.”

As one would expect, U.K marketing writer Stuart Smith, who of course caught Goodson’s ire last fall when he penned a piece suggesting a potential Frogpond sale, has plenty to say about APCO’s purchase of the agency. You can read all about it here.

We Hear: So This is What’s Probably Happening at the Frogpond

There may not have been layoffs as we initially reported last Friday at StrawberryFrog’s New York office, but that doesn’t mean there’s any less drama. Sources familiar with the matter tell us that in lieu of cuts, founder/chief Scott Goodson has asked senior management at the agency to take what we hear is a 20 percent pay cut. Whether this is retroactive is still unclear, but we’ll find out soon enough. To be honest, we feel it’s beating a dead horse at this point. Let’s take a break from the Froggers unless something major happens, shall we?

Young Joins SF Amsterdam

Well, it appears there were a few conflicting reports coming our way last Friday regarding the state of StrawberryFrog New York, with sources saying there were a handful of staffers cut and the agency itself saying otherwise. So, for the time being, as layoff tips have yet to be confirmed on or off the record, we’ve placed the item on the backburner (though we’re still hearing plenty about how the entire NY office is now working on one floor).

Anyhow, while we wait for some more concrete info on cuts if there is any, the Frogpond in Amsterdam tells us that it’s welcomed a new ECD in Rohan Young, who joins StrawberryFrog from BBDO Paris (CLM BBDO, to be precise), where he’s spent the last few years as creative director. At SF Amsterdam, Young will serve as creative team leader alongside David Warner while also serving as ECD on Emirates Airlines, which is run by Kevin McKeon out of the Frog’s New York office. During his time at BBDO Paris, Young worked on P&G for the EMEA region.

StrawberryFrog Lays Off Another Handful

It has been a long while (ok, a week) since we last reported about cuts at StrawberryFrog, but now, sources familiar with the matter tell us that the New York office has let go of approximately a half-dozen staffers and that Andrezza Valentin, creative director on Pampers for a solid seven months, has resigned. Prior to joining the Frogpond, Valentin spent a year as a creative director/art director at B-Reel.

We Hear: Another Handful Out at the Frogpond

Granted, it has been about a month or so since we last covered StrawberryFrog-related matters, but now a few sources are telling us that there were another round of layoffs at the New York office. We’ve been told that a handful of folks were cut but we’re still trying to ascertain which departments were affected. One spy weighs in: “…At least 4 + people Including several of the few people left who have worked there longer than six months. After the layoff they brought remaining staff into a room and promised that they were ‘the A-level talent. there will be no more layoffs.’ (which was the same thing they said when they did their first round of layoffs six months ago).”

We’re looking into the matter and will try to get you more specific info/names if possible.