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TBWA/Chiat Day

New President/CEO at TBWA Worldwide

Troy Ruhanen

This evening brings news that Troy Ruhanen will succeed Tom Carroll to become the new President/CEO of TBWA Worldwide. (Jean-Marie Dru will retain his position as Chairman of the Agency Network.)

Ruhanen, a member of the AAF Hall of Fame who first earned your Spy’s attention back in 2009 when BBDO created the Deputy Chairman North America position to give him a promotion, spent the last ten months as EVP of the larger Omnicom Group.

In the past, he held several executive positions at BBDO, running the AT&T business prior to being promoted to Deputy Chairman and then CEO of the Americas to oversee its operations in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Before joining Team Omnicom, he also spent three years as Managing Director of Leo Burnett’s office in his native Sydney.

In what’s sure to be a controversial quote, Ruhanen writes that his appointment is “a great honor” due primarily to TBWA’s “unique strategic method in Disruption®”, which “attracts talent, unlike others, and produces work that creates a competitive advantage.”

Deputy Director Leaves TBWA

tbwa-logo

In a quick bit of staffing news before the long weekend, Deputy Director/Head of Account Management Justin Manfredi left his position at TBWA’s Digital Arts Network this week.

Manfredi, who worked in accounts at JWT, Deutsch New York/LA and San Francisco’s AKQA, joined TBWA approximately one year ago. The hire was part of a move the agency made to “ramp up” its digital West Coast staff in 2013. Manfredi joined along with 72andSunny/W+K NY alum Larry Lac, former Ignited analytics lead Eric Fader, and Vaino Leskinen of TBWA Helsinki.

Before joining TBWA, Manfredi served as Senior Integrated Account Director at David&Goliath. The agency describes his new role as “client side” work with Activision, but at the moment we have no details on title or responsibilities.

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.

TBWA’s Latest for iPhone 5S Features Unusual Song Choice

While Apple recently announced that it will be taking more of its ads in house, this latest iPhone spot comes from TBWA Media Arts Lab, and features a rather unusual song selection.

The 60-second spot, entitled “Strength,” is a relatively straightforward montage promoting the use of the iPhone 5S for physical fitness. Less straightforward, however, is the spot’s soundtrack. As Adweek reports, “Strength” is set to “The Youth Fitness Song” (also called “Chicken Fat”), which originally appeared as a song from President Kennedy’s national physical fitness program. The song, which was written by Meredith Wilson and performed by Robert Preston in 1961, was distributed to schools and played as an accompaniment to a morning calisthenics routine. Whether the song is meant to stoke Baby Boomer nostalgia or someone on board just thought it would be a fun bit of silliness, “Go, you chicken fat, go” is a pretty strange way to tell people to start exercising (while utilizing their iPhone 5S). Coming on the heels of the recent spot featuring “Gigantic,” it marks something of a trend in unorthodox song selections promoting the 5S.

TBWA\Paris Raises Awareness for Amnesty International France

TBWA\Paris, Amnesty International France’s advertising agency for 10 years, has a new ad for the organization, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

The 1:55 film, entitled “Pens,” uses a clever visual device to tell the story of an unnamed protestor. The protestor is arrested, detained and abused, but released following thousands of petitions for his release. Set to a soundtrack performed by Paolo Nutini, with a short, stirring excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s The Dictator, the spot champions Amnesty’s process of mobilization via the signatures of its supporters. “Pens” is a clear expression of Amnesty Frances’s ““your signature is more powerful than you think” slogan and a powerful encapsulation of what the organization stands for. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Two New Global Appointments at TBWA

TBWA

Today brings news that TBWA has promoted two veterans to key roles on its global leadership team: Luke Eid (second from left) will be Global Innovation Director at TBWA Worldwide and Juuso Myllyrinne (far left) will assume the newly created position of Global Strategy Director for TBWA\Digital Arts Network.

Eid, most recently Managing Partner at TBWA Hong Kong, will work on the digital front or global clients such as Nissan. He writes:

“I’ll work with the network to ensure we continually disrupt our own service offering to reflect these changes and provide clients with solutions that are grounded on the latest consumer behaviors and technologies.”

Eid will collaborate frequently with Myllyrinne, whose most recent position was Executive Director of Digital Strategy for TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. Myllyrinne will also lead TBWA’s “product incubator” Pilot while working directly with DAN president Stuart Sproule (third from left) on creative tech and strategy for global clients.

TBWA\Chiat\Day, Adidas Throw a World Cup House Party

For the Super Bowl, the game is the advertising. For the World Series, ads are a respite. For the World Cup, however, there’s just not as much fanfare. TBWA\Chiat\Day hopes to change that with its new spot for Adidas.

The work features retired legends of football/soccer/futbol (depending on who you ask) David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, who are bored watching the young guys Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura playing EA Sports’ 2014 FIFA World Cup.

And then, a jewel-encrusted goblet of male bravado spills on the hardwood floor as a real soccer game trashes “Beckhingham Palace.”

Now that you’ve recovered, click through for some credits.

Read more

EVP/ECD Leaves Deutsch LA for Media Arts Lab

Mathias AppelbladIn dated but unreported news, Executive Vice President Mathias Appelblad recently left Deutsch LA for TBWA‘s Media Arts Labwhich has witnessed some executive-level changes as its relationship with sole client Apple shifts.

Appleblad joined Deutsch in February 2013 to assume the then-new role of EVP/Digital Executive Creative Director, creating work for Volkswagen and others. Prior to that move, he spent nearly three years as EVP/ECD at BBDO New York, where he worked on campaigns like GE’s “Ecomagination.”

Appleblad’s agency roots lie overseas with Sweden’s Forsman & Bodenfors; he joined F&B after establishing himself as an art director with various companies and worked on IKEA’s “Dream Kitchen for Everyone (no noise)“ as Interactive Creative Director.

We have no official word on his position at MAL, but we will update this post if we receive more information.

Apple Officially Takes More Ads In-House

The strained relationship between Apple and TBWA\Chiat\Day has reached a new stage.

Two months after unflattering email exchanges between Apple’s head of marketing and TBWA’s Media Arts Lab surfaced as part of the extended Apple vs. Samsung copyright battle, Bloomberg was the first outlet to report that the company will now be creating more (if not all) of its TV spots in-house.

An Apple spokesperson reminded Bloomberg that the internal team, which “includes at least two people Apple hired away from Media Arts Lab”, is responsible for recent spots like this one:

The shift has been in the works since early 2013, with Apple deciding to take control of more production duties and build up its own team rather than search for a new agency.

Other outside hires include at least two higher-ups from Wieden+Kennedy: Tyler Whisnand and Bill Davenport.

No one at MAL–which recently went through some staffing changes of its own–offered a comment to Bloomberg, so the current and future status of the partnership remains unclear. 72andSunny CEO John Boiler did weigh in, however, calling the company’s decision to hire from within MAL “…an indication of some seriously broken trust.”

Longtime ED Departs TBWA\Media Arts Lab

TBWA MAL

This morning we received confirmation from a spokesperson that Cheryl Childers, longtime Executive Director of Production with TBWA‘s Media Arts Lab, officially left the agency last week.

MAL is, of course, the famously “secretive” shop TBWA set up in 2006 to work exclusively for Apple, and Childers was a member of the core leadership team at the time of its founding. Of the four names listed in that release, two remain with MAL: ECD Eric Grunbaum and CSO Elena Hale (onetime Brand Leader Alex Moulle-Berteaux now serves as CCO at Aereo).

Childers had been with TBWA for some time before the establishment of MAL as well; her LinkedIn profile notes 23 years spent with the organization.

This move is the largest staffing change at MAL since the January appointment of president Erica Hoholick, formerly of Ogilvy London. The agency gave no details regarding the reasons for Childers’ departure or her future plans.

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